TAMIEL--

Vivid blue eyes were turned down, flicking back and forth as they moved over the ancient script laid down on fragile parchment on the table in a tiny room deep within the old monastery nominally still owned by the Catholic Church, but now really just used as one of many storage facilities of the Knights Templar. As the petite woman's eyes moved across the script, her hand moved across the page of a composition book, elegant script in English forming under the direction of that hand as she translated the Old Aramaic for the order. She was alone in the small chamber, working in total silence aside from the scratching of the pen against paper and the soft sounds of her own breathing, exactly as she preferred it. Surrounded by the smell of parchments and paper and papyrus and inks, all of them older than the building in which she sat, the corners of her lips tipped upward in the faintest of smiles.


Eventually, however, she was interrupted by the soft sound of the heavy wooden door of the chamber being opened, and then carefully closed again. It didn't happen very often. Usually she was left alone in her work, unless she was needed for some special bit of translation or research that she was uniquely suited to within the order. She raised her head slowly, her eyes squinting just a bit in a mix of irritation and confusion. It was late, far too late to make it likely that her services were needed by another researcher since most would have already gone to their beds, or whatever they did once they were done with their tasks for the day.


“I'm so sorry to disturb your work, Tamiel,” the elderly woman said with a voice clearly unaccustomed to being used very often. She was dressed in the habit of a Catholic nun, her expression hesitant and respectful as she held up a small envelope made of elegant ivory paper. “I was asked to bring you a message.”


She straightened, breathing out a soft sigh. “It's alright, Sister Mary Agatha,” she replied gently. While the interruption might irritate her, she was above taking that out on the bearer of the message. The nun nodded and slipped the envelope onto the table, then nodded and slipped back out of the chamber with the same quiet respect she'd entered with. Tamiel picked up the envelope, broke the seal, and pulled out the paper within. Her brows knit into a frown as she began to read.


'Tamiel,

You have been ordered to accompany Adrian Blackwell on his trip to the United States, where you will render Mr. Blackwell any aid that he requires on his mission. You will pack and leave immediately.'


The frown smoothed away as she closed her eyes to compose herself. The last thing she wanted to do was leave this place, let alone to leave London and travel to America. But, she had given an oath to the order that had taken her in and sheltered her in her time of need. She would honor that oath, even if it terrified her to do so.


ADRIAN BLACKWELL--

Adrian wasn't much of an explorer. But, being a progeny of the Knights Templar, the adventuring ran in his blood. Even though he would much rather have an adventure through a book, rather than go out and make adventure. Then word came down that Tamiel was going to join them. Why would she be joining them? She was a cloistered nun who did nothing but research for the Templars. Right? At least, that's what he imagined. Some dodgy old nun who wore a habit. The final piece of this adventuring puzzle was Aubriana. She was the hunter, and one of Adrian's best friends.

How often they would drink at the pubs, get drunk and have her start a fight? Or where she'd break into his flat in the middle of the night to get information out of him. Well, not in the say he'd would've liked. It was more like her tossing him out of bed and making him work while she finished a case. It was a vicious cycle. Something he let happen because he had a major crush on her. While he liked her… a lot, she had absolutely no interest in him. First, she didn't like guys. And second, they were childhood friends. She considered him a brother, which always had him in the friendszone. How many times had she slept in the same bed with him, growing up in the templar?

It was terrible.

After he called her and she got her go ahead, they were all scheduled to meet at London Heathrow where they'd take a British Airways flight to St Louis to start their travels. Right now, though, Adrian was playing catch up with Aubriana who seemed rather stoked that they were leaving this damn country.

"Aub-" breathing out as he fussed with his books that he brought along, trying to keep pace with her. "Aubri!" argh! dropped a paper. Picking it up, he was just getting further and further behind.

"AUBRIANA! WILL YOU JUST HOLD ON A BLOODY MINUTE?!" he shouted loudly.

But, when everybody stopped to look at him, his face turned about a thousand shades of red. Ugh. This was not how he wanted to start this.


AUBRIANNA REID--

When he yelled, she turned around and grinned, her eyes dancing, “yes dearest heart?” She scooted over to him, picking up a paper, “you dropped this one too. What the hell are you doing?” She shifted around her knapsack, glancing around at people, “you want to take a picture too? It’ll cost you money.”
When people moved away, she looked back at Adrian and sighed. If she were straight, she’d love him even more than she did now. “Tamiel will be worried,” she pushed the paper at him, “come on, I’ll slow down, I promise.” She crossed her heart, flashing another grin, crinkling her nose in the process. “America! I haven’t been to America in ages! The last time I…” She paused, pursing her lips, “I hope I can still get in.” She tapped at the pursed lips, waiting on Adrian to get moving, then she followed, slowly.

“My grandpa walks faster than you, you know,” she slung her arm across his shoulders. “Are you ready for the next big adventure?”


TAMIEL--

She sat in the uncomfortable plastic chair, one of many placed for the dubious comfort of waiting travelers, and waited for the others to arrive, watching everyone that came within a few yards of her nervously. She did not want to be here. Not at all. She didn't want to be away from the safety of the old monastery. She did not want to be away from her work, which she felt was far more valuable than whatever was mission Blackwell was dragging her off to in America. But, orders were orders. And if there was one thing she couldn't seem to resist – aside from working with research and translation – it was obeying orders. It was, quite literally, something she'd been created to do.


<i>"AUBRIANA! WILL YOU JUST HOLD ON A BLOODY MINUTE?!”</i>


The excessively loud voice drew her attention immediately. She didn't recognize the name. Unfortunately, however, she did recognize the voice that shouted it out. Blackwell. She'd never actually met the man, but she'd overheard him occasionally when he would pass by her little workroom, and caught glimpses of him once or twice when she'd been in meetings with those she considered her superiors and commanders. She sighed and stood, brushing her hands along her overcoat to smooth out wrinkles. Under the coat she wore a simple dress of a heathered grey wool and that came to just below her knees, in deference to the winter weather, a pair of knee high leather boots.


She stepped forward as the pair approached, and spoke in a soft, hesitant voice, “Mr. Blackwell?” Her eyes darted between the pair, unsure of what she should actually do. This just wasn't comfortable for her, and she wondered, yet again, what could be so important that she'd been required to leave the safety of the monastery to travel out where she might be found...and found out.


ADRIAN--

Narrowing his eyes at Aubriana, he was about to say something when Tamiel joined them. "Yes. That's me." blinking over at Tamiel as he squinted "Tamiel. The uh, Nun…" she wasn't actually a nun, and she was far more gorgeous than any nun he ever knew. Catching his jaw he closes it and gives Aubriana a glare as a warning that she shouldn't say anything. "Well, It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please, call me Adrian. My partner here is Aubriana. I call her Aubri." and really, only ever that. Except when he's mad or frustrated with her.

"We're going to America in search for the Lost Gospel of Jesus. It's supposedly a powerful artifact that our ancestors hid. The first clue we have starts in St Louis. Legend has it that it's the only manuscript that the Apostle Judas wrote before he died. It supposedly it's a retelling of Jesus' trial and execution by Pontius Pilate. Along with how exactly Judas betrayed him. History isn't really sure how exactly Judas betrays him, other than he took thirty pieces of silver."

Glancing between the two, he blushes. Surely he figured Tamiel would know that.

But, Aubriana would probably give him a hard time.

"Maybe we should catch our plane now." He could use a stiff drink.

Once they checked in, they'd be lead to the first class preferred seating. The Templars at least knew how to treat their agents. While they didn't have their own planes, first class seating was worth it. Not to mention, it was going to be a long flight. 10 Hours and change.

"Last time we came to America, Aubri. We went to spring break to hunt down a Skinwalker. But decided to troll the beaches in your bikini top looking for girls. All I remember were those sounds coming from your room at night." shuddering "I am pretty sure you weren't pumping these girls for information."


AUBRIANNA--

Well, aren’t we a walking encyclopedia,” she tweaked his nose and grinned at Tamiel, “Aubriana,” she repeated, wiggling her fingers. She wasn’t much for shaking hands, which was surprising since she seemed to crave human contact.

She squinted at him, then nodded at her, following Adrian faithfully. Even when they got into scrapes, thanks to her, he always knew what to do; so it was interesting having a third wheel – especially one that was a `nun`. A nun, her ass. She quickly studied Tamiel out the corner of her eyes while following him, putting up her knapsack in the overhead bin then dropping in the seat next to Adrian.

“Don’t be so jealous,” she smirked, “Spring Break was a fun time.” She stretched, “Lola was… informative,” she looked over to Tamiel with a look of mischief. “So where are you from?”


TAMIEL--

She blinked at being called a nun. If this was an example of this man's ignorance, she couldn't imagine how he was trusted with a mission like the one he was describing to her. But she kept her silence, both in regards to his ignorance over her position within the order, and in regards to his attempt at a lecture on the mythology and history surrounding the supposed betrayal of the Christ. Besides, she was too busy trying to puzzle out the strange ways the pair interacted. Humans were just...so very confusing. Even if she was, essentially, one of them now.


She followed along quietly just behind the pair, faithfully following her orders no matter how much more she was questioning the wisdom of them. She just couldn't help the questioning, even if she obeyed anyway. Even if it was questioning orders and laws that brought about her fall in the first place.


Clutching at the single book she'd brought with her to focus on in hopes of keeping the anxiety at bay – she didn't trust any sort of flight that didn't involve her own wings, even if they were long gone – she took her seat once they'd boarded the airplane. She was honestly surprised at the question Aubrianna directed at her. They were obviously very familiar with each other, and she'd expected to be ignored for the most part – not that she minded that thought much.


I.. London. I live in London,” she answered, finally. It wasn't exactly a lie. And, even now, she had a very hard time bringing herself to actually tell a true lie.


ADRIAN--

It wasn't that he was trying to school her, or tell her about the mythology. Just what it was they were looking for. The seats were three across so the three of them could sit together. Adrian HATED flying so he had Aubriana sit window seat while he got the aisle. This way he didn’t have to look outside. Leaning back in his chair, he takes a deep breath grabbing the arm rests as he closes his eyes. "London is an amazing city. I'd love to live there if I could afford to rent a flat. But, Aubriana refuses to live in London with me. Say's it's too crowded, or something. I just think one of her girlfriends still lives there and Aubri has no interest in dealing with her." Adrian said, rolling his eyes.. under his closed eyelids.

"Ugh. I hate flying." he groaned.

When the stewardess starts walking by, Adrian catches her arm.

"Shot, please. Something strong." The stewardess laughs "Not until we're up in the air do we start servin' booze." Adrian groaned flopping back against the seat as he looked to the two girls with a brow lifted.

"What?"


AUBRIANNA--

Aubriana reached over to tweak one of his nipples in response about one of her girlfriends. “Women are crazy,” she whispered to Tamiel before looking at Adrian. “London is too dreary, some of the best writers were driven to suicide.” She grinned as she leaned back in her new seat, peeking out the window. “You know, we’re going to look so mall from here – and everything will get blurry once we hit turbulence.”

It was as if she delighted in Adrian’s misery.

“So, are you a nun?” She looked over at Tamiel, “you don’t have the…” She waved her hand around her head to imitate a habit.

Then she grinned at Adrian, “NOW do you see why I wanted to bring a bottle in my backpack? Vodka is odorless, you’d be flying before we actually flew. Jesus.”


TAMIEL--

She was quickly becoming of the opinion humans in general were insane, not just women, as Aubrianna said. Still, if she was expected to travel with them, she supposed she should make efforts to be polite and try to accept their strange behaviour. And, perhaps, try to seem a little less...angelic, in thought. If she could manage it. Which, if these two were any example, she felt sure she would never be able to manage properly.


Flying is...very disturbing,” she murmured in agreement with Adrian. Aubrianna's teasing of her friend had the – probably – unexpected effect of redoubling Tamiel's anxiety over trusting to the machine as well. The thoughts of seeing the Earth from far above did not, of course, disturb her. But doing it in this manner very much did. Absently, she nibbled at her lower lip, forcing the thoughts of the ordeal ahead from her.


And again, the assumption that she was somehow a member of the religious community. The irony made her lips twitch slightly, despite her nervousness. “No, I am not a nun. Which,” she added with the faintest trace of scorn in her soft voice, “would be why I am not wearing a nun's habit. I pass time researching when the need arises, and translating the ancient scripts when I am not needed for research.”

Tamiel tilted her head, curiosity finally making her brave enough to ask a question of her own. “Alcohol, this... 'booze' ...does it make tolerating the ride in this contraption any more...” she paused, searching for a word, then sighed. “Bearable?”


ADRIAN--

"Oh." Adrian turned to look at her "I thought you were, Don't you work at one of their cloisters?" asking curiously before looking over at Aubriana "No. Because they would have confiscated it, and then we would be in the same predicament. Not to mention, how did you plan on getting it passed United States Customs?" lifting a brow as he scoffed, crossing his arms again and leaning back in his seat. "Just so you know. Just because we fly good doesn't mean we'll be saying in fancy hotels. We will all be staying in one room." with him most likely sharing a bed with Aubri.

Joy.

"Yes. Vodka makes this all the more bearable." saying as the plane pulls back from the terminal, then taxied to their runway.

"Ugh." this was the part he hated the most. The engines would turn on, Adrian's hand slips from the arm rest, grabs Tamiel's knee and starts squeezing as they start hauling ass down the runway before suddenly going up. The G-Force alone was keeping them pinned back against their seats as they started to rise towards their flying elevation. Once they reached that, they'd level off and he'd breath a sigh of relief once they're okay to move about the airplane.

"I'm going to get a drink." saying as he unbuckled himself. These kinds of planes had two decks, and the upper deck had a bar.

Guess where he was going?


AUBRIANNA--

Bed buddies!” She grinned at Adrian, “but no snoring this time,” she gave him a dirty look, “I need my four hours of sleep, or I’m a bitch.” She flashed Tamiel a grin as she settled in her seat, choosing a pleased look. Then she looked over at Tamiel, “soooo… you’re another one of him,” she pointed to Adrian, “a walking encyclopedia.” This should be fun for her, she was used to being all brash action with Adrian cleaning up her mess afterward; so what would Tamiel bring to the new relationship?

She wasn’t even sure if she could trust Tamiel, it wasn’t Tamiel’s fault – it was just how Aubriana was since she had been a little kid. That’s why she latched onto Adrian, he understood her and the mess she brought to the table.

She looked away, lost in her thoughts while the plane took off. She hadn’t noticed where Adrian’s hand went to, she was used to this process by now, where he would swear he was dying until the plane levelled off.

“Really?” She looked at him, “already? Bring me back something.” She gave him a smooch on the cheek, “be a lamb.” Then she looked at Tamiel, “you should try this booze thing, really.”


TAMIEL--

I work with them, because they help to maintain the manuscripts and scrolls and books I translate. I live there because I,” she hesitated briefly, forcing the lie that needed to be told, “simply see no reason to be further from the work than I must.” It was almost the truth, but still enough of a lie to make her uncomfortable. Yet, she couldn't just tell them that she'd been in hiding, in fear of her life, or worse still, if she was discovered. “I have never taken any vows to the Catholic Church, nor would I,” she finished, that tone of scorn creeping once more into her voice.


For just a moment, sheer terror slipped past her control and showed in her expression, darkening her eyes to a deep blue. “All three of us...in the same room?” That, she felt, suddenly made this whole mission go from something to tolerate until she could return to what she felt was her true work, to something more akin to a nightmare. How could she be expected to not raise suspicions if she was to be near the two of them almost all the time?


A hand landing on her knee, squeezing uncomfortably, was enough to make her forget her terror. At least, for the moment. She turned to stare at Adrian, trying to understand if this was more human insanity, or if it had a purpose she just didn't yet understand.


She was relieved when he stood, and was no longer touching her. Understanding that he wished to move past her, she pulled herself against her seat more, though as she was fairly petite, she left him ample room to move past in the spacious luxury seating they enjoyed. Tamiel glanced to Aubrianna, then, struck by an impluse that surprised her, she nodded. “I think I would like to try some of this...booze, please,” she said, looking up to Adrian. “If...I may?”


When he'd left, a look she could only interpret as sheer determination on his face, she turned back to study the woman. “You are...close with Mr. Blackwell. What is the nature of your relationship with him?” There was nothing in her expression but sincere curiosity. “He is... not what I expected. Nor are you, for that matter.”


ADRIAN--

Adrian .. pretty much ignored Aubri, especially when she called him a lamb. He wasn't really in the right frame of mind for it. With them now being some 40 Thousand feet up in the air. Moving up the stairs to the platform, he sighed. Knowing that he better grab a drink and bring it back to Aubri, and probably get something for Tamiel. When did his life become full of controlling women? Oh, that's right. When he met Aubri. But… he and Aubri were good for each other. Even if they bickered, at the end of the day. They were the best of friends. Adrian got himself got a drink and downed it real quick.

Aubriana was a hard woman, she liked her booze the same way. It's why he got her a whiskey on the rocks, and for Tamiel? Hmm. Vodka Cranberry, she didn't seem like a drinker. Adrian preferred Vodka in a chilled glass. Coming back down a few minutes later, he paused and looked at the two women who were now conversing with each other. Moving to sit down between them again, he offers Tamiel her drink, then Aubriana.

"What horrible things did Aubri say about me?" asking as he set his tray down, placing his drink on it so he didn't have to hold it.

AUBRIANNA--

When Adrian left, she looked over at Tamiel and tilted her head. The woman was cute and vulnerable-looking; almost the kind she kept under her wing once she knew them – or figured she could trust them.


“We’re all in the same room,” she paused, “don’t worry, we won’t look.” She rolled her shoulders, “there’s nothing I want to see anyway,” her eyes flicked to the window for a minute, enjoying the clouds rolling by. When Tamiel spoke again, she looked over and laughed.

“Adrian? Call him Adrian, I keep thinking you’re asking about his da,” she gave her a half-hearted smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. A shake of her head, she rolled her shoulders, “honey, he has nothing I’m interested in.” She fell silent, “he’s just my best friend,” she gave a different smile, it caused her eyes to dance, “he’s my wingman when I look for the women.” She tilted her head, “to me, both of you are weird. All books, less action.”

She started to say something else when Adrian came back, “thank you,” she smiled as she took a sip, sighing in pleasure.


TAMIEL--

At first, she wasn't quite sure why Aubrianna would think she was worried about what they might look at, before it slowly occurred to her the woman thought she was bothered by her body being seen. She almost laughed at that though, but managed to keep her humour to herself. A body was just...a body, and hers being seen was of no concern to her. But, maybe it was better that they think that it was an issue for her. It could be a useful ruse to gain some time away from the pair, if it all got to be too much.


Your...wingman.” She repeated it softly, trying to puzzle out what it meant. Humans didn't <i>have</i> wings. The rest of it, however, she caught the meaning of easily. Aubrianna was attracted to women rather than the cultural norm of being attracted to the opposite gender. She found it interesting, but only in a purely academic manner; sexual orientation was something she was quite aware of, but it was also something she was utterly indifferent to.


As for being thought 'weird,' well, that didn't bother her either. It was a convenient way for her misunderstandings of the confusingly alien culture she'd found herself thrust into to be dismissed. “Books are...pure. They're unchanging. There's comfort in that,” she said softly, almost wistfully.


The melancholy that had started to consume her thoughts was shoved to the back of her mind when Adrian approached, and took his seat. She offered him a tenative smile as she took the drink he had acquired for her. “Thank you....Adrian,” she said, with a quick glance to Aubrianna, almost as though seeking her approval. “I don't believe she said anything unkind about you. She says you are her 'wingman' however.” Her tone made it quite clear that she wasn't sure if this was something he would consider offensive or not.


Tentatively, she took a sip of the drink he'd handed her. Adrian was right about her not being a drinker. She'd never before tasted alcohol, and it took her by surprise. The drink seemed similar to fruit juice, at first, with a crisp taste of something she suspected was cranberry, or some similar berry. But then the punch of the alcohol hit her, the burn of it making her cough and her eyes go wide. When she was able to control herself, she turned to stare at both Adrian and Aubrianna. “You...drink <i>this</i> for enjoyment, truly?”


ADRIAN--

"What?" asking for a moment when she stared at them both. "Oh, yeah. Drink up, it's good for you." snickering as he took a long swig of his drink. "I hate flying. So, I drink to make it more tolerable." it was the truth. Shifting, he looks over at Aubriana. "Anyway. You should bone up on your monsters. The Gospel is said to be guarded by poltergeists and undead knights. Probably of our order. I would imagine they're all pretty pissed off by being left to guard something for thousands of years with no end in sight." explaining as he looked over at Tamiel

"And worry about the room thing. You'll have your own bed. Me and Aubri can bunk together. Though, she kicks in her sleep." turning to glare at her for a moment, before turning to look at Tamiel. "If it makes you feel more comfortable. We can put up a sheet between the beds." pulling the arm rest up, he leans against Aubri. "I have a feeling this is going to be one adventure that we're never going to forget." they were the best of friends, smiling over at Tamiel.

"You might know more than me, why'd Judas write this gospel? Guilt? Do you know why?" asking


AUBRIANNA--

He helps me win the birds,” she smiled at Tamiel, “sometimes it helps having a brute of a male near me.” Another sip as she settled into her seat, listening to Adrian try to reassure Tamiel, “I do not kick in my sleep. I bite, there’s a difference, god.” Well, she also talked a bit in her sleep, she has woken herself up a couple times with the most random things. Her lips twisted as she watched them talk.

“Make me a power point, simple facts,” she held up a finger, “what do they do,” she held up a second finger, “their weaknesses,” and a third finger. “How I kill them.” She grinned, “that’s all I need. Youse guys can handle the other stuff,” she looked over at Tamiel, “tell me you know how to handle weapons.” Please god, the girl had to be good for something besides reading books.

She settled under Adrian, “we’re definitely going to have fun,” she grinned as she finished off her drink in a couple gulps. “If youse guys are going to go geeky on me now, I’m going to sleep; Chachi… was that her name? Well, whatever, she kept me up last night.”


TAMIEL--

Tamiel blinked, then took another cautious sip of her drink. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that the terrible burning feeling from the first time was closer to a comfortable warmth with this second drink. Maybe, she considered, this 'booze' wasn't so bad after all, as she took another drink of it. Besides, if Adrian, who was obviously experienced in ways to make flying in these contraptions bearable, said it would help...who was she to deny his wisdom on the matter.


A..sheet between the beds is unnecessary. But thank you for the consideration.” Hesitantly, she smiled. “I know how to use a blade. I am intimately familiar with blades, in fact. I...was taught nearly from the moment I came into being,” she murmured, feeling strangely pleased that she did have something to offer them aside from her vast knowledge. “I'm unfamiliar with other weapons. Well, in using them. I hope that won't be too much of a problem.”


Oh, but the question of Judas and his gospel. She thought, feeling just the slightest fuzzy without realizing the reason, she would have to be careful how she answered that loaded question. “It wasn't guilt. Judas wanted,” she hesitated, then tried to reword what she was going to say, “that is, I believe from my studies that Judas wanted to set the record straight. He wanted the truth to be told.” Her eyes went distant as she thought back to the time. “All Judas ever wanted was the truth to be told.”


ADRIAN--

She spoke weirdly, sometimes, Adrian noticed. That she was trained from the moment she came into being? Must be the booze. Finishing his drink, he moves his head from Aubriana's shoulder to her lap as he glances up at her with a grin. "Wake me when we land, hmm?" They were close. Having joined the order at nearly the same time, they just clicked. It was perfect. "It's interesting that Judas wants truth when he's the one that betrayed Jesus. So, makes me wonder what kind of truth there is, and what it means. Because, if this Gospel is authentic. It's going to turn the world of Christianity on its head and make us question just how true the bible is."

Curling his legs, he makes sure to stay within the confines of his seat as he feels Aubriana's fingers flitting lightly through his hair. For as much as they argue, it's obvious that the two of them are inseparable. Yawning, he shifts a bit, getting more comfortable as he closes his eyes. "You should have another drink, Tamiel. It calms the nerves." if she had any, a few minutes later and he'd be asleep. Between the booze, he slept pretty heavily. It was only when they hit some pretty rough turbulence over the Atlantic is when he woke up, by the time it was over, Adrian had one hand on Aubri's waist and the other clutching the seat infront of him.

"I don't understand how you like flying." grumbling as he glances up at Aubri, then pulling himself up. They only had a few hours left before they would be arriving over New York, and then onto Chicago. "I think I need another drink."


AUBRIANNA--

Aubriana glanced over at Tamiel instead of closing her eyes, “it’s good that you know how to use one,” she even offered up a smile as a reassurance. “One less thing for me to worry about,” she tapped at Adrian’s forehead when he shifted around to get comfortable. “So, Judas wanted?” She looked at both of them, Tamiel had a way of making things sound less geeky, even though she had a way of… speaking differently. She crinkled her nose, looking down at Adrian to hear his rebuttal, lightly running her fingers through his hair.

It was interesting to have to think about that from another perspective. Judas was known to be the one who performed the ultimate betrayal; so why would he want? Her head tilted in thought as she studied Tamiel for a minute before finishing off her drink, placing it to the side. Adrian had already conked out in her lap, she smiled lightly at Tamiel, “if you don’t mind… It was a long night,” she closed her eyes; she wouldn’t sleep heavily, she never knew how. Every time she heard someone make a sound, one eyelid would flutter open to check her surroundings before closing it again.

The turbulence woke her up, only because of Adrian’s reaction, she sucked in her breath before exhaling again. “I think you need valium with that drink,” she rubbed at her waist as she looked over to Tamiel, “did you get any sleep?”


TAMIEL--

Unlike the pair she was traveling with, despite finishing off her drink, Tamiel didn't sleep. She spent the time trying to read the book she'd brought, but mostly thinking about what Adrian had said before he fell asleep. He was right about the drink calming her, though she found it made her thoughts drift from their normally orderliness, instead skipping randomly from memory to memory and thought to thought.


Very few knew her history, her background, and she knew she had to be careful what she might divulge that ran counter to what the mythology said about so-called 'biblical' history. But, she was on this trip for some reason, and she could only imagine that her rare knowledge must factor into that. The question then, was how much she could tell Adrian and Aubrianna without making them suspect her. It was a conundrum she was no closer to solving when the plane began to rock and shudder in the air.


Tamiel looked up to Aubrianna from the page she'd been staring at for the past hour, shaking her head. “I don't sleep very much. I was reading,” she said, lifting the book on her lap slightly to emphasize her words, “about , ah, well, it's fiction. I thought I would give it a try.”


She tilted her head, shifting her attention to Adrian. “Perhaps if you find something else to think about, that will calm you?” She offered him a hesitant smile. “The...booze seems to make things strange. It seems like it would be a hindrance to doing our jobs.”


ADRIAN--

"Well, we generally don't drink on the job." explaining to Tamiel as he pulls himself up into a sitting position. "Sorry about the grip, Aubri." giving her a bit of a sheepish look, he stretches, feeling his bones pop back into place. Pushing onto his feet, he looks down at the girls for a moment, nodding to Tamiel and smiling, then looking to Aubri "C'mon, Lets have a drink. The three of us." gesturing to them as he moved into the aisle, he'd offer his hand to Tamiel to help her up if she wanted.

Walking with them up the steps to the lounge, he sits with them and orders himself another drink. When all the drinks are placed, he looks between the two. "So, I want to go over the plan." saying as he pulled his phone out and placed it on the bar infront of him so the girls could look at it. "We land in St Louis at 3am, probably won't get to the hotel until 5am. Sleep for a few hours, then go out to just outside St Louis where the caves are said to be. Probably be best to dress for cold."

Explaining.

"From there, we'll figure it out. Have you ever slept outdoors, Tamiel?" asking as he sipped his drink. Then grinned at Aubri "We used to do it all the time. Remember the time you almost got us lost in Nottinghamshire?"


AUBRIANNA--

Charming,” Aubriana looked at the book before looking to Adrian with a lift of her eyebrows when Tamiel tried to stop them from drinking more. “We’re not quite on the job yet, so we’re fine,” she flashed them a grin as she ran her fingers through her hair, wiggling a bit to find a comfortable spot in the chair. She was so ready to land and move around, this whole sitting still thing was not much for her.

“Most brilliant idea you have had all night, mate,” she tweaked Adrian as she scooted by to stand in the aisle, stretching a bit. When she was sure they were going to follow, she went up the steps, ignoring them while studying the people. It wasn’t something she could quite turn off; thus the need for drink, it let her be more present.

Her lips twisted as she sat, ordering her drink, her eyes sliding over the bartender appreciatively before she looked over to the two. “Right,” she waited for Adrian to take charge like he always did. She let him think he was in charge most of the time. “Cold,” she grimaced as she tried to mentally go through her luggage, she had a jumper or two, maybe. “As long as we sleep, and get good food first,” she grimaced, looking at her drink, taking a few sips.

“I did not,” she huffed, “you read the map wrong.”


TAMIEL--

“Ah, of course,” She said, uncertain about drinking more despite her ready agreement to it. Still, fitting in – if only marginally – was important. Tamiel took Adrian's offer of help up, and followed along behind the pair quietly. But silence didn't mean inattention; her eyes darted quickly over everyone they passed by, assessing and cataloging every detail she took in.


She sat with them, her hand wrapping around the glass of her drink more for something to do than out of any desire to drink the contents. They might not be 'on the job' but she couldn't afford to let her guard down more than she already had. Which, she mused, was a shame; the drink had been very good.


Beyond telling her what more was expected before she could begin to do whatever real work they had for her, she had very little interest in the plans they were discussing. Her attention was still wandering far too easily for her liking, and only her own name snapped her focus back to them fully. “Yes, I've slept outdoors. There was once a time I spent... Well, I used to spend a lot of time outdoors,” she replied, an edge of wistfulness to her soft voice. “I won't hinder you.”


Her lips twitched, finding she was actually becoming used to their bickering. She was finally, slowly, recognizing it as a very strange sign of affection between the two. “Does he often lose his way, Aubrianna?”


ADRIAN--

"I did -not- read the map wrong. You kept insisting that moss only grows on the north side of things, when clearly, in England. Moss grows around -everything-" taking another drink as he grinned "Should have seen her when she was young, Tamiel. Nothing but twig and bone. She had these long scrawny arms, a head that didn't fit." not that Adrian looked much better, but it was something he found funny. While he knew he was never really the leader, he liked to at least get a plan going. It usually worked better in the end. At least, he thought.

"And no. I don't lose my way often. Aubri doesn't like listening to the directions I give her." shaking his head as he takes a long sip before ordering another drink. Of course, the bartender was female and was looking Aubri over, giving her a little grin as she worked on making her another drink. Then giving it to her 'on the house'. This was bloody ridiculous. Somehow, Aubri could bring the lesbian side out in a woman so easily, that all she has to do is just sit there.

This simply wasn't fair.

Adrian couldn’t flirt with a woman to save his life, but that's not the point.

"Ugh." he rolled his eyes at Aubri as he twisted in his seat to face Tamiel. "I'm afraid we don't know much about you. How'd you come into the Templar life? Family connection? It's how me and Aubri joined. Though, she took the hunter route. I'm more of a researcher, than a fighter. Though, I know how."


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna rolled her eyes at Adrian, “right, right.” She waved her hand at him, laughing as she heard how he described her, “whatever. I looked amazing, you were just jealous that I could out-climb you, out-swim you, out-fight you.” She grinned as she nudged him, they really were the dynamic duo, the partners-in-crime; where one was, you were sure to see the other… Which got them in trouble a lot while growing up.

“Don’t listen to him, he gets lost often.” She rolled her eyes, grinning, of course she didn’t listen to him; she often liked just striking out in some random direction while Adrian tried to figure out where the hell they were.
She grinned as she lifted the free drink at Adrian, “I could ask her to make you one,” she smooched his cheek.

A roll of her shoulders as he asked the connections, “you’re either family and a Templar, or you’re out on the street,” she mimicked a deep male voice. “So what about it, Tamiel?” She studied the girl intently.


TAMIEL--

Their banter rolled over her as she took it in, eyes flicking regularly between the two of them like someone watching a particularly riveting tennis match, trying to learn what she could from it without being obvious about it. The interaction between Aubrianna and the woman serving them was especially interesting to Tamiel. She understood human intimacy and romance far better than nearly all of her former brethren, but she'd never had occasion to see something as commonplace as casual flirtation between strangers before. It was fascinating.


“Um.” They were asking about her past, and she had a moment of sheer panic, her eyes going wide and startled. She'd just never imagined they would ask, and so she'd never considered what she should tell them if she did. Especially since she knew she was terrible at lying; it made her incredibly uncomfortable.

She looked down to the untouched drink in her hands, hearing Adrian's words from earlier all over again in her mind. <i>'You should have another drink, Tamiel. It calms the nerves.'</i> Perhaps it would help, after all, she thought, taking a long drink from the glass. The burn going down her throat somehow made her feel steadier, and she looked back up to the pair. “No, no family connection. I don't have family anymore. I.. I fell. I mean, I had fallen. I lost everything. I was in pain, and the order took me in. I had lost my purpose, and they gave me new purpose.”


ADRIAN--

Adrian studied her for a long moment. Letting his eyes focus on hers. Fallen… angel? Is that what she said? Tilting his head to the side, he looks over his shoulder at Aubriana, then back to Tamiel. It would make sense. He's quiet for a long time, trying to trace everything. Letting his mind connect the dots and figure out the pattern. Nodding, he finishes his drink and gives Aubriana a nod with his head to follow him so they could have this conversation in a more … private setting. Sliding his arm under Tamiel's he smiles at the tender and gently tugs her along down the sitting area.

Letting her sit, he makes sure they're alone as he looks at Tamiel.

"Angel?" he asks, his voice quiet and curious. Pressing his hands together, he puts them over his nose and mouth for a moment as he thinks about what she's saying. "This, actually makes a lot of sense." glancing over at Aubriana who's sitting next to him. "Whoever assigned you to us, knows that. And I'm guessing you were assigned to this case because you know more than you let on." Adrian wasn't dumb, he may seem like a stumbling idiot sometimes. More often than not, it was an act.


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna nearly choked on her drink as she heard what Tamiel said, she wiped at her lips, trying to mentally dismiss what she heard. Maybe that was just a trick, a noisy environment, and the booze. Her hand dropped, she studied both Adrian and Tamiel, unsure what she should say – she was never known for saying the right things at the right time.

When Adrian finally moved, Aubrianna instinctively got up to follow him – no questions asked. Aubrianna smiled at Tamiel, a light nod to encourage her to go with Adrian; they were okay, really.

The bartender gave a curious look, Aubrianna mouthed `be right back` to the girl.

When they entered a more private place, Aubrianna settled into a seat near Adrian, she watched him. He was freaking out, she knew it; it wasn’t a bad freak-out, more of an excited freak-out. She grinned, “tol’ya they had a reason for adding a third.” She looked at Tamiel, acting like it hadn’t been her that was all pissed off about adding a third person. “So you fell?” She looked at her, “anything juicy?”


TAMIEL--

Confused by the sudden change in the way they were acting, Tamiel's panic started to rise again. Had she said something wrong? She'd tried to answer as best she could without giving anything away. Yet, they seemed to suspect something. It was the only explanation for the change to their demeanors. Nervously, more for something to do during the long, intimidating silence, Tamiel finished off the rest of her drink in one swallow in hopes that it would soothe the hammering of her heart.


She let Adrian tug her away, toward some more private seating, away from the people milling around. Not that she could have stopped him, really. She was a weak, frail thing. Or, at least, it still felt that way compared to...before. When they'd all sat down, she stared, wide-eyed, gaze flicking between the man and the woman. Obviously, they had something they wanted to say. But when that single word sounded quietly into the relative silence around them, it was still a bit of a shock. She winced visibly, fear flooding her features. “No,” she said immediately, reflexively...wincing again at the lie-that-wasn't-quite-a-lie. “I..yes. Well, I was.”


She frowned, defeat in the slump of her shoulders. “I don't know why I was ordered to join you on this mission. I wasn't told. Orders from on high, with no need to explain them.” A bitterness that surprised even her crept into the tone of her soft voice. “Some things don't change.”


She bit her lip, eyes still constantly moving from Adrian to Aubrianna and back, waiting to see what her fate would be now that she was discovered. One of this pair was more hunter than anything, in her opinion. And she was, essentially, a monster – non-human, always a potential threat. And the other...he was a researcher, surely he would just love to pick her apart and find out what made an angel – fallen or no – tick.


“Juicy? I fell in love with a human, and I fell for him. Is that...juicy enough?” She hadn't meant to sound as harsh and bitter as she did, but, her carefully constructed masks were crumbling, and she just...wasn't sure she even cared anymore. The order she'd thought was protecting her had, in her view, betrayed her by sending her with these two.


ADRIAN--

"You're a fallen angel." saying with a soft surprise. This was most interesting, letting it sink in, he thought about it all. Why she was coming with him, glancing over at Aubri, then back to Tamiel "Fascinating" commenting. There were a ton of questions he wanted to ask, but he wouldn't, out of respect. "You fell in love with Judas. The lost Gospel was written by someone who was close to him." he was putting the pieces together quickly.

"You wrote the gospel, didn't you?" Adrian often got into sticky situations because of how quick he put things together. Letting it sink in further, he's about to ask her another question when the plane experiences some turbulence and the lights flicker on and off for a moment. Two men seemed to appear out of thin air when the lights came back on.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. If you could please return to your seats. It seems we've hit a crosswind and taking on some turbulence." the captain said over the intercom.

When Adrian stood up, one of the men near the stairs would look over at him. Almost as if he knew who he was. The other man, would also turn. "We've been ordered to silence you, the girl and the angel." saying as they start approaching, two long silver blades sliding out of the cuffs of their trenchcoats. "The Gospel of Judas is not meant to be found!"


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna was ready to say something when Adrian decided to put it together, she was ready to hit him for being a male. Sometimes people just didn’t talk about things like that. “Ade,” she finally muttered through clenched teeth, which was much better than kicking him in the knee or something worse. “We get it, Tamiel.” She understood falling hard for someone and getting kicked in the teeth for it.

The turbulence happened, she waited for Adrian’s hands to perform their death grip on her limbs. Her eyes flicked to Tamiel, she wanted to say something, but emotional stuff wasn’t her forte. That was much more Adrian’s thing. She was the slash and burn kinda girl.

“Oh bloody hell,” she muttered under her breath, they weren’t going to let her enjoy her drinks. “Tamiel, get behind us,” she moved down to her boot to get one of her blades.


TAMIEL--

Tamiel's jaw clenched, and her hand fisted without thought from her, anger coming to the fore. She stared at each of them in turn, letting silence stretch out between them, before finally the answers came from her in a rush. “Yes. I'm fallen. Disgraced, in the fullest meaning of the word. I fell in love with a human, and then I fell in love with the rest of humanity...and eventually, when it was discovered, so many decades later, my grace was ripped from me and I was exiled for what I'd done.” She sighed, the anger leaving as quickly as it had come, leaving only sorrow etched on her face. “I wrote the Gospel,” she admitted in a near-whisper, refusing now to meet their eyes.


He gaze flicked up as the plane began to shake and the lights flickered. While she might distrust and even distantly fear riding in one of the mechanical metal tubes the humans seemed to trust in so easily for the only flight they could ever achieve, the turbulence was something she was used to in flight, and it didn't bother her so much. But something about it triggered a sense that something was wrong. Growing wary, but afraid to say anything for fear it was just the rampant emotions she was unable to push to the back of her mind now that she'd been exposed, she stood when Adrian did.


Two men approached them, and Tamiel's eyes went wide at the sight of the blades they were now wielding. <i>Angel blades.</i> Only then did the full import of the words spoken hit her. <i>”...and the angel.”</i> They knew. Somehow, these strangers <i>knew</i>, and that was so much worse than Adrian and Aubrianna having guessed. These were strangers, no one she knew from the Templars at all. And they...<i>knew</i>.


He hand ached for the cold feel of her blade in her hand, though it was long gone, along with her grace...and most of her strength. All she could do was exactly what Aubrianna had instructed, and move behind the pair. Though, that didn't stop her watching with a keen and experienced eye, taking in everything, waiting and watching for any opportunity to help defend herself, and her companions, despite her lack of a weapon.


ADRIAN--

Aubriana and Adrian were just humans, and Tamiel wasn't much better off. They were about to face off against two angels who had every intention on smiting them into oblivion. Aubri was trained much better than he was. But she was no match for the angels. "Tamiel." saying when she moved behind the pair "What exactly did you write that has these lovely fellows wanting to stick us?" asking as they backed up in the bar until they hit the back of the lounge where they couldn't back up anymore. Thankfully, it was empty.

The angels charge in, they weren't finessed, trained fighters. Instead they relayed on their raw strength and power to overcome any kind of fight. Adrian and Aubri were able to easily block whatever attack they presented. Adrian would draw one of the angels off with a kick to its knee, then a shoulder lunge to knock him back enough. Though, the angel would come in with a back hand which sends Adrian flying to the other side of the lounge, hitting the side of the aircraft and falling to the floor with a groan.

Aubri's angel would stalk after her, intending on fully gutting her and smacking her around like the pesky human. They didn't stand a chance against these. Adrian had to work fast as he crawls his way to a table and cuts his palm to draw a sigil on the surface of it. "Hey. Scumbags, Look at this!" the angels pause for a moment to look over at him just in time to see Adrian slapping his hand on the table, activating the sigil. A bright light fills the room before fading just as fast. When it's gone, the angels would be gone.

"Oh, that actually worked. Go me." Adrian would say before collapsing. Fighting wasn't his thing, getting hurt wasn't his thing.

And blood? Really wasn't his thing.


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna checked behind her to make sure that Tamiel had listened; which she did, so there were some points for that. She looked over at Adrian, giving a quick nod before dismissing him, she knew he would be able to handle himself – he’d call out for her if he needed help. She couldn’t afford to be distracted by him or Tamiel right now. “Hey you,” she cooed at the angel intent on her destruction; oh no, this face was too pretty to be smote.

She said nothing else as she concentrated on blocking off every thrust, returning with one of her own. She couldn’t cut him, but at least he wasn’t cutting her - which was much more important. She had to scoot around a couple tables to provide her a bit of a breathing room and time to think. He kept knocking those barriers out of the way.

“Bloody hell,” she hissed under her breath, just in time to see Adrian go flying. She was ready to say something when the second angel advanced on her. Okay, one she could hold her own against – kinda; but two? Nope.


One of the angels managed to catch up to her and give her a nice slap to the face, that’d hurt tomorrow – more than it did right now. He grabbed her and…

Adrian’s yell got everyone’s attention, all of them looked to him, and bright light.

“Next time,” Aubrianna said as she put a hand to her cheek, “warn me.” She muttered as she tried to blink away the bright light that still floated in her field of sight.


TAMIEL--

She made a frustrated, scoffing sound, struggling to understand why she hadn't realized there were angels so close earlier. “I told the truth. That's enough.” The alcohol. It had to have been the alcohol, dulling her senses, stripping her of the one thing she had left of being human, her ability to sense supernatural creatures...especially angels and demons.


Cursing her stupidity, her utter...humanness, she frowned, watching the pair of angels. Whoever they were, she didn't immediately recognize them, not even when she concentrated and looked past the vessels for the angels inside. But it was obvious even to her, these two weren't soldiers, they didn't come from the rank-and-file garrisons. She couldn't even begin to fathom who they might be following, who could be giving them orders. And that....that bothered he even more than the attempt on their lives.


She crouched down during the struggle to make herself less of an immediate target, watching, evaluating, even quietly impressed with the way her human companions handled themselves and her former brethren. But the sudden bright, blinding light and the power that sang through her veins, touching her even though she was no longer truly effected by the spell, brought the fight to an end abruptly.


She crawled over to Adrian, judging him potentially the most damaged because of his collapse. She didn't hesitate to rip at the hem of her dress, winding the cloth carefully around his hand to cover the wound in his palm. Still, even as she did this, she didn't forget Aubrianna, he eyes sliding over to the woman to check how she was doing. “Are you both alright? I...am sorry I didn't sense them in time.” She tried to hide it, but shame and sorrow shone in her eyes.


ADRIAN--

After a few minutes, Adrian slowly comes to. Looking up at Tamiel and pressing his lips together as he looked at his hand, then over at Aubrianna "I'll tell you next time to look away from the bloody light when I save our skins. The sigil banishes and weakens them. I estimate we should be good for the rest of the trip. But, when we get our rental and motel. I highly suggest angel proofing it." groaning as he grabbed a chair and pulled himself up slowly. Ugh, he hated fighting, Aubri was much more the warrior than they were. Monsters were one thing, Angels were another ball park entirely.

"And don't beat yourself up, Tamiel. It's not your fault. Not directly, anyway. You fell in love. You shouldn't be punished for your feelings." once Tamiel is standing, Adrian puts his arm around her shoulders as he pushes against his ribs with a wince. "Oh, that's going to hurt tomorrow." muttering to himself as he looked the girls over. "You two birds okay? No damage?" asking then pressing his brow together.

"When we land. We're all going to have a serious discussion. Now, shall we go back to our seats so this bloody flight will be over sooner?"


AUBRIANNA--

Thank you Captain Encylopedia,” she gave him a look as she walked over to both of them, nodding to Tamiel. “I’ll be fine,” she gave a smile – wincing slightly as she did so. “I forgot how strong those wankers are,” she paused, “sorry,” a quick apology to Tamiel. She watched Adrian move into a chair with a worried look, she would have to check him over – if he ever let her – later. “You dead?” She did that smile of hers again, wincing.

“I’ll be fine,” she looked at Tamiel, “this isn’t you,” she gestured to the space behind them. “Some of us are meant to be chased,” she wasn’t even sure if that would be reassuring. It had meant to be reassuring. She watched them, nodding, “let’s go. I need sleep.”

Or else she would end up being too wired for the rest of the flight, now that she had sobered up quickly.


- - - - - - - - - - -


TAMIEL--

They'd gone back to their seats, counting themselves lucky that no one else on the plane seemed to have noticed the brief battle that had occurred, and settled in to get some rest for the rest of the flight. Sleep came quickly for her companions, but Tamiel found herself sitting there awake, the entire incident running through her mind on repeat. She felt sure she was missing something about what had happened, what had been said; something important had slipped her notice at the time, and she needed to try to understand what it was.


She didn't believe in coincidence, not in the slightest. It wasn't even a case of belief. Not really. She understood that, in the case of far more events than most humans would ever understand, things were guided by one or another of the various supernatural forces that inhabited their word unseen and unknown. Heaven, Hell, demigods, and monsters...far too often one of these took a hand in events. But which was it this time?


What had sent her on a quest for an ancient text <i>she</i> herself had written, and then had been cast from Heaven for only a year earlier, once it had been discovered by her superiors? What, or who, had then sent angels out after her, to eliminate her, and her innocent companions? She felt she should be able to make the connections, to figure it out. But...human thought was so slow, so muddled, that it felt like wading through thick syrup by comparison to what she had lost.


Finally, she, too, succumbed to sleep, the thoughts still running in circles through her mind.


ADRIAN--

Adrian found Aubriana's lap to rest his head on while he slept. Dreams would haunt the rest of the flight as his subconscious replayed the fight over, and over, and over again. Trying to figure out exactly what went wrong. But nothing was coming to the front. When the landed, that's when Adrian would startle awake as he looked around before pulling himself into a sitting position. Gently shaking the girls awake, he groans at the time.

They left around 8am in the morning, and arrived at 6pm. Why was time such a funny thing? The rest of the evening would go without incident. They'd be able to leave the plane easily enough, get their rental car (in which Adrian refused to let Aubriana drive) and drive the few hours to their motel just outside the city. It was just like any other roadside motel in the US. Two stories, all the doors faced the parking lot. The weather was cold, much colder than London, easy enough to whip a chill into you. Thankfully Adrian brought some thick jeans to go out in.

Opening the door to the motel, he lets the girls in first before going out to the car and bringing in all their luggage. Well, mainly his luggage. Having taken two suitcases…filled with mostly research. Putting the suitcases on the table, he stretches and pulls his shoes off. "You can have this bed, Tamiel. Me and Aubri will take the other." as they discussed. Sitting down on one of the chairs next to the table, he's silent for a moment.

"Tamiel." saying softly, not accusatory. "What exactly did you write, and why was it lost?" a thought came to him. Taking a piece of paper and a pen, he scrawls out some sigil's "Aubriana. Can you proof us, please? Line the windows with salt and make sure the door is locked, please."


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna followed Adrian and Tamiel everywhere, usually she woke up without missing a beat; but at the moment, she was bleary. Blinking at the light, she squinted at them, “it’s bloody cold.” That was all she muttered as she followed them to the rental car, giving Adrian a fight for the driver’s seat – but he had won. This time. Usually she was able to one-up him, but this time, she settled in the back and rubbed at her eyes, glancing at the scenery going by.

She glanced at his bags, glanced at theirs, “I thought birds were supposed to pack heavier.” She smiled somewhat as she entered the motel room, already cheering up at the sight as she tucked her bags in a corner – out of the way. “Aye Aye Captain,” she tugged a couple containers of salt out of her luggage. It didn’t matter where she went, she always had a little hunter’s pack in every suitcase or bag. She looked at Tamiel while giving a little shrug of `what can we do?`

As they talked, she worked on proofing the room, making sure she was quiet so she could hear the discussion.


TAMIEL--

Tamiel came awake with a start, but aside from the gasp then, remained completely silent and passive the rest of the evening, right up until she found Adrian's eyes on her, waiting for an answer to questions she'd only half heard. As she stood there in the center of the room, arms wrapped around herself, she considered how to answer. Slowly, her head cocked to the side, her eyes narrowed in thought, and she replied in a soft, lost voice, “I committed the truth to written words. Written words can have power.” She sighed. “Judas didn't betray anyone. He was the one betrayed. He was...captured, tortured.”


She paused, shivering suddenly, though she hadn't noticed the cold until then. She moved to sit on the very edge of the bed that had been pointed out to her, looking for all the world like a bird perched, but ready to take flight at the slightest provocation. “Lucifer loyalists. Demons. By the time I found him, he'd given them what they wanted to know. He was...only human, he couldn't help it. He.. Judas didn't survive.” She could see him then, just a brief flash of him lying in her arms, too far gone for her limited ability to heal to help him.


She held her hands up before her, palms toward her, staring at them. Slowly, she flexed her fingers, then let her hands drop and let her eyes meet with Adrian's, trying to ignore the sudden burst of gratitude that at least both their eyes weren't following her every little move, waiting to judge her.


“I killed them,” she said, finally. “Not even to prevent what they knew from spreading, but...for vengeance.” She shook her head, slowly. “I don't even know what it was that he knew that they wanted so badly. I don't understand why all of this is coming out now. There shouldn't be anything in what I wrote that would matter. Not then...and certainly not now. The Morningstar is already free, the apocalypse was stopped years ago.” She hesitated, glancing between them. “There can't be anything in what I wrote and hid away that matters anymore....except to me.”


ADRIAN--

"In the bible, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ to Pontious Pilate for thirty pieces of silver. The Romans knew Jesus was in town, but they didn't know who he was. So, Judas gave Jesus a kiss and that's how the Roman soldiers were able identify him, and arrest him." saying out loud "So, You wrote the truth. There's accounts that Lucifer, or Satan, persuaded Judas. Even in some lore, Judas is hailed as a hero. Because if it wasn't for his supposed actions, then Jesus would have never been crucified, then he would have never have risen. Which, is pretty big to Christianity." standing to his feet, he thinks about it.

"You said written words have power. And it's obvious that Judas' true actions were covered up in the bible." shaking his head, he pushes his hand through his hair as he glances to Aubriana. "What was it that Father Thomas would tell us about hunting and the lore?" asking as he crossed his arms across his middle. This was huge. "Whatever you wrote, Tamiel. It has some kind of implication that they don't want us to find it. Could there still be angels loyal to Lucifier?" asking, curious "Since he was an angel at one point, an arch angel, at that." pressing his lips together as he thinks about what was going on.

"What do you think, Aubri?" asking her as he found a seat on the bed next to Tamiel. "Who do you think sent us? Could it have been Father Thomas?"


AUBRIANNA--

Aubrianna glanced over at them when she heard her name, a curious quirk on her lips as she put down the materials. Wiping her hands in thought, she nodded slowly at him.

“Either we’re cannon fodder, or he thinks we can find the truth.” A slow bite at her bottom lip, “unless he’s a loyalist to Lucifer.” She studied them before dropping onto the bed on the other side of Tamiel, she patted her shoulder. “I’m thinking cannon fodder,” she gave a slight smile.

It was her way of welcoming Tamiel into the fold.

“Either way, we’ve got to figure this out.” She paused, studying them, “if not for you, then for Judas.”


TAMIEL--

“Forget your bible,” Tamiel said, derision clear in her normally soft voice. “It gets far more wrong than right.” She looked down to see her hands clenched into fists, and she worked to force them to relax, resting them in her lap once more. She kept her head lowered, staring off into nothing as she continued. “I'm not even sure where to begin. To you, this is lore, myth, history, any of that combined. To me this is a mix of my own past...and family history.”


She pulled her eyes up, an intense focus showing in them now, the palest of echoes to what she'd once been. And, behind that focus was a simmering rage, anger that touched her voice as well. “<i>Lucifer</i>,” she said, stressing the name carefully and clearly, “is an angel, one of the four archangels, the very oldest of us. That didn't cease to be a fact when Father and Michael case him into his Cage for his sins. And I can promise you, Lucifer never had a chance to talk to Judas about anything.”


Tamiel sighed, letting the anger fade away. This was all just too painful to waste the energy on maintaining the exhausting emotion now. Wrath as an angel was easy; wrath as a human was just...so tiring. “But, he's out now. We all know that. Um...the angels, that is. I think the current king of Hell hunted down most of the loyalists that had been left. Or, so the rumours had it.” She stopped to consider.


“But...if Lucifer is still free, still walking the Earth, if...he found a new vessel, as I've heard... Even tucked away in the monastery, I heard the rumours, the stories,” she added ruefully, tapping her temple lightly as though that meant something, before continuing. “He could have gathered new followers. Perhaps. Or...someone's gathering them in his name. But the results would be the same, I suppose. Loyalists could be trying to find the Gospel in hopes of finding something to give them, or Lucifer himself, the upperhand.” She laughed then, a bitter sound, looking startled by it. “It has to be a joke. All of that had to do with an event that...never truly came to pass. It's over, years done with.”


She fell silent then, faintly curious as to who the Father Thomas was that they were discussing, but too wrung out to stir herself to ask. Instead, she offered Aubrianna a faint, wan smile as the woman touched her, a gentle patting of her shoulder that surprised Tamiel, coming from a woman she viewed as a warrior and hunter. “Judas is long gone,” she replied with a shrug. “This needs to be solved to understand why I've put you in danger, the both of you.” Her eyes flicked between the – in her view – peculiar pair, startled to realize just then that she was genuinely concerned for them, and...coming to care about them, despite her desire to keep herself as distant from humans as possible after her exile and fall.


ADRIAN--



AUBRIANNA--



TAMIEL--