Chapter Ninety Four
Brodine reached out to darkness, aware of sudden turmoil. Where is the ancient one? Where is the old man? How can this be when we’re so close to the time of chaos?
Brodine gasped and fell to his knees as another ancient darkness overcame his guard. Fools, all of you. The ancient one is gone. I’ve come straight from the great one. Our plan is in jeopardy. Didn’t you know of the Light, our ancient foe? Did you not know how they work to drag you into the open to overcome you with His Light? Now retreat and regroup is our present option. Do not attack these praying Christians. Catch them instead away from the Shield of Faith for we have no power here. See? The old man became weak from the faith of a little girl. See how much more powerful they are now that they have Faith’ Seal upon them. No more will we waste ourselves on a frontal assault. Stealth and surprise will be our guide. Events elsewhere will work to our advantage.
Brodine straightened up and glanced around him, feeling new power come with this second ancient one. So this is what the old man felt. It’s staggering. Now I see the bigger picture. These Christians are only bit players in a world class play. The time of chaos, yes, that’s the key…
Brodine rubbed his hands together in apparent glee. My forces will be slow to gather, using construction as a means to my end. I’ll have to rebuild a base of power, be ready to strike as the main stream of world events provides opportunity here and elsewhere.
Late night news repeated harsh video from the beaten looking Carrie and Stephen. New video showed the glowing remains of three houses and a liter strewn crater where the truck bomb detonated. One thing the nation could see. This wasn’t a random attack. These were well planned attacks. Who was behind it? Who would be attacked next? Is Tent City safe? What happened to the captured terrorist?
Diane held her husband’ hand as he lay on the cot. To her right Ted and Rita stood in line to have a more careful inspection of their cuts. Instead of fear and disgrace, they glowed with His Presence.
Ted jumped in concern as Ralph and Elise were ushered in, bruised and tired but with the same glow.
Elise grabbed Rita as she noticed the bandages. “You too? Our home…, is gone, but the Lord… We felt a giant hand pull us through the house and hold us away from danger. Now we know what it means to be sheltered by the Hand of God… It’s…, it’s…” She turned away into Ralph’ arms.
Ralph held her still, overcome a bit too, knowing how close the event was to a different outcome. He looked Ted in the eye. “We felt it. The Power of His Spirit, keeping us from worse harm, so that others might know His Strength.”
Ted raised an eyebrow. “That’s so strong after all you lost.”
Ralph shook his head. “Not of me. On the way here, I fell apart, so did Elise. To lose our memories, pictures of the kids, that’s the hard part. Now to know Elise is safe, and all of you. It was a close thing…”
He reached out to Ted with trembling hands, similar to what Ted showed so often. “Ted, I was a bit skeptical of what you claimed you felt and saw, but now I know.” He looked at his trembling fingers. “Yes, now I know and praise God for it, and something else… I feel an urgency, brought to me by His Spirit, an urgency to step it up, all that we’re doing here…, more vans and tents, more trained volunteers, ready for somethin’ else, far bigger than this.”
Ralph stopped for a moment, still holding Elise close to his heart. “We have a new vision to share, one of Peace for us, but a rapid stepping up of world affairs, before, um, I can scarce say the words…”
Elise turned toward Ted and Rita. “The time of chaos is coming. What we saw and heard. booming thunder, some kind of conflict between heat and cold. Don’t understand it. What else was it?”
Ralph held up his hands like he was holding a large ball. “Can’t figure out what this means ’cause it don’t make sense. My understanding of the physical laws of nature. Well, anyway, I saw hailstones as big as this, like that volleyball over there. That’s impossible, of course, in the normal sense, but…”
Ted’ eyes narrowed. “Wait, a conflict between heat and cold of gigantic proportion. That’s what I received too. But…, how can these things be? Whatever it is, we need to talk to Reggie, like yesterday, ‘cause it might be comin’…” He turned to face the west, realizing that his eyes looked into a molten interior, moving, groaning to be let out... “It’s on the way now!”