Flame and Shadow

By Joshua Carr All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Other

Chapter 3

Before I knew it, I was no longer in the burning building. Instead, I was in the back seat of an unmarked grey helicopter, with my rescuer sitting beside me. He put a warm jacket over me, and instructed the pilot to take off. I looked out the window at the burning remains of where I had lived for my entire life. I couldn’t help but cry a little.

“It’s OK, my child. You’re safe now.”

I turned to the man, but I couldn’t force any words to come out. Instead, I threw my arms around his midsection and buried my face into his white robe thing. He put a big arm around me as I cried against him.

“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”

A few seconds later, I pulled back. There was a wet spot from my tears on his clothes, and a smear of snot from my running nose.

“Sorry.” I tearfully apologized, rubbing my eyes and nose.

He chuckled, and I took in his appearance for the first time. The man was fairly tall, and thickly built. His short hair and beard were completely white, and there were wrinkle lines in his forehead and around his eyes and mouth. He looked caringly down on me with his soft brown eyes.

“I don’t think we’ve been introduced. My name is Oro Sherman.”

“And I’m Seraphina, but you can call me Sera.” I said, rubbing my eyes again. “But…you knew that. How did you know my name, before?”

Sherman smiled.

“I’ll tell you everything in good time. For now, just accept the fact that you are a very important girl.”

The muffled drone of the helicopter rotors was completely forgotten as Sherman began to explain.

“I am the bishop of an organization known as Nahalore. We are the guiding light of the Earth. You see, over three thousand years ago, God allowed an angel to marry a human woman. Unlike the fallen angels who took human brides, and gave birth to evil children, called the Nephilim, the children of this union are known as Ircabim. The Ircabim are a gift from our Holy Father, given to this world to restore order and peace. All of the Ircabim have remained banded together to form Nahalore.

“I can see you are overwhelmed. Yes, I am an Ircabim. So are you.”

Huh? I must not have been paying attention, because that didn’t make any sense.

“I’m a…what? Iridium? Part angel?”

Sherman chuckled again.

“An Ircabim. Yes. part angel. In Nahalore we have varying degrees of purity, but you may have the most angelic blood in you that we’ve seen in years.”

My head spun. Is this real, or all just a joke? I’ve heard people talk about gods and angels my whole life, but I had just assumed it was all fairy tales.

“So…where are we going?”

“We’re going home. To Nahalore. You’ll be part of our family.”

A family! That was the only thing that I ever wanted! Suddenly something occurred to me, and I had to ask.

“Um, Mr. Sherman, are you adopting me?”

“Well, not exactly.” He replied thoughtfully. “It’s more like, you’ve always belonged, and now you’re finally coming home.”

Well, now I was confused. What did that mean? My face must have revealed my puzzlement, because the man laughed.

“Don’t worry. I’ll explain everything soon. Until then, just enjoy the ride.”

Night had fallen, but the light from the moon lit up the earth beneath us. I wasn’t sure where we were going, but I figured we must have crossed the border into Canada by now. We flew over pine forests, and the moon reflected off a beautiful lake. It was as though the traumatic experiences from the day were in another world. The night was wonderful, and I was being taken to a new family. This was nothing like how I had hoped that the day would have gone, but maybe it was better.

After we had travelled for several hours, the helicopter began to go down. I didn’t see a landing pad or anything, but I was confident that they knew what they were doing. At least, I was until we were about to land in a tree. My fingers tightened around the seat, and I closed my eyes to brace for impact. It didn’t come.

Instead, the trees leaned to their sides, which revealed an opening leading into the ground. The aircraft moved forward and down, and all that I could see were rock walls. A few moments later, the stony surfaces disappeared, and we were in a modern-looking aircraft hangar.

My eyes darted around as I tried to take in the surroundings as fast as I could. The walls and floors were made of concrete, and bright fluorescent lights lit it up as bright as day. There was another helicopter sitting there that matched the one we were riding in. The hangar was surprisingly small. After we touched down, I noticed a number of people in the room. Some of them appeared to be mechanics, working on repairing the helicopters and maintaining the facility. There was a man and a woman, however, who appeared to be waiting for us.

The young man appeared to be about 17. He was slightly on the shorter side, with tan, wavy mid-length hair, narrow shoulders, and rectangular glasses. The woman was older, maybe in her thirties. She was a few inches taller and was of a bit darker complexion than her companion. Her dark coffee hair was tied in a tight bun on the back of her head, though there were some Harry Houdini escaping strands. She had icy blue eyes, and a substantially curvy figure.

Both of them were wearing matching white uniforms. Their pants were white, with a colored stripe running down the outside. The tops were similarly colored, with a colored stripe running down the sleeve and across the midsection. On the left breast of the zippered top was emblazoned a symbol. It appeared to be golden wings, opening like an umbrella over a swooping, nearly triangular shape. The logo formed a golden circle.

The man wore his uniform straight, neat, and perfectly oriented. The woman’s top, though, did not have sleeves. She also wore the shirt slightly unzipped, and accessorized with a scarf. The colored accents on the uniforms were also different. His was a deep blue, and hers was a very pale periwinkle, nearly the same shade as her eyes. Now that I thought about it, Sherman’s robe was of a similar design. His had a zipper running along the front, and the colored stripes were golden. The golden symbol was right in the middle of his chest, and was far larger than the others’.

Upon landing, Sherman climbed out of the helicopter, and extended his hand to help me down from the cabin.

“Welcome to your new home, Sera.” He said. “You’ll love it here at Nahalore.”

The man and woman I had seen before approached us.

“Ah, these are some of my most trusted friends.” Sherman introduced me to the welcoming party. “This is Mahsa Sadeqi. She’s our finest instructor. And this is Doshi Troaz. He is one of the most intelligent and resourceful people I’ve ever met.”

Doshi nodded his head in greeting.

“Pleased to meet you, Sera. We’ve been waiting for you.”

I didn’t know what to make of any of this, so I was relieved when Sherman led us on.

“Let’s give her the grand tour, shall we?”

We walked across the hangar, and went through a large hinged metal door. While moving down the hallway, Sherman continued speaking.

“Like I said before, Nahalore was founded thousands of years ago, by the children of an angelic father, and human mother. Originally, our headquarters was in the Mesopotamian region, but within the last three hundred years, we moved to the Americas, and secretly began construction on this facility here in Canada. Now our ranks number in the thousands, and many of us live here, effectively an underground city.”

We reached the end of the hallway, and opened another door. On the other side, I drew a quick breath. There before me stretched an expansive…well, city. The “ceiling” was three stories up, with some buildings reaching the top to support the earth above. There were also many pillars to assist in the structure. A number of people walked about, just going about normal life. They were not wearing uniforms, only plain clothes.

“I can see you’re impressed.” Sherman noticed. “This city encompasses several blocks. We don’t have any cars down here; everyone walks or bikes wherever they need to go. The people here do everything they need to for supporting our organization. We get all of our raw supplies, such as food and materials, from Ircabim I’ve stationed in nearby cities.”

Looking around, Nahalore looked like any other small community. There were stores, doctor’s offices, and homes.

“Here at Nahalore, we obey the instructions given to God’s people. ‘And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.’ Everyone here does what they must to help our community survive, because they want to. And we make sure that everyone has everything that they need to live. It’s perfect harmony, just like the Father wanted it to be.”

Wow. That sounded wonderful. Everyone watching out for one another like a big family.

“But this isn’t what I wanted to show you. Follow me.”

Sherman led off to the side of the settlement. A heavy-duty overhead door opened for us, and we walked through the portal.

Here, the atmosphere was completely different. There was a series of plain concrete pathways, leading to a number of rooms.

“Our organization welcomes anyone with angelic ancestry, no matter what a small part it is. However, the more angel blood an individual has, the more likely they are to be blessed with unique…traits. Everyone who we determine to have potential is brought here to train for our Exosia division.” Sherman paused at the doorway of a large circular room. “Now I’m going to show you something that you might not believe at first. But rest assured that everything we do is blessed by the Heavenly Father.”

I had no idea what to expect. My heart fluttered with nervous anticipation as our guide threw open the door.

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