Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 7
AEGIS Agent Amelia Van den Broeke appears on scene to witness the wreckage caused by fight between individuals with extraordinary abilities. There she finds Everett Howard, an ordinary old man, unconscious, the only living witness to this attack. What follows will change both of their lives in ways neither could have ever foreseen and forever intertwine their fates.
February 16, 2016
427 Evergreen Terrace
New Hebron, California
“Hey Alex, are you there, browneyes?” Amelia called flicking the living room lights on and setting her keys down on their usual place under the switch. She’d spoken quietly so as not to potentially awaken her lover.
Greeted only by silence, the agent frowned and shut the door behind her. For some reason she’d been expecting a confrontation despite the late hour.
Alex never drove, preferring to take a bike or the bus when possible and didn’t even own a car. So often, the only way she new the other was home was if the lights were on, but Alex was normally in bed hours before midnight. It was well into the early morning hours. If that had been the case the bedroom door would have been closed. Either, her lover had yet to arrive back home or else hadn’t heard Amelia speaking.
She stepped into the kitchen and was about to call Alex’s name again when she spotted a neatly folded piece of paper affixed to the steel door of the refrigerator with a magnet. She moved across the room, slipped the envelope free making note of her name written in her lover’s messy scrawl and pursed her lips as she carefully unfolded the letter.
I’ll keep it short. I’m tired of playing second fiddle to your job. Even when you are here, you’re distant. I need to be in a relationship where I don’t spend the days worrying if my girlfriend is going to come back at all. I’ll come by some time in the next few days to pick up my things.
“God dammit,” Amelia dropped the letter, letting it fall to the ground and slammed a fist down into the countertop. Unlike some exemplars Amelia lacked any sort of enhanced physical capabilities, so when her hand impacted the stone surface, it hurt like hell. She bit her lip, pulled her hand close and fought back tears.
She couldn’t say she hadn’t seen it coming, she was always working and when they did go out Amelia was usually called in to consult. Maybe if she could talk about any of it, it might have helped, but when your girlfriend frequently disappears for long stretches of time and outright refuses to talk about it, it tended to put more than a little strain on the relationship. Amelia didn’t like keeping secrets, but the job required discretion.
Shaking her head and flexing her still-sore hand, Amelia slipped out of the kitchen and into the bedroom collapsing onto her back atop the mattress without bothering to undress. She closed her eyes and let out a long sigh, hoping that sleep would soon take her way, but as was so often the case, insomnia decided to rear its ugly head.
Somewhere in the back of the head she could still sense the presence of Everett, distant and numb, perhaps sleeping. Gone was all the anger and hatred that had been emanating him so strongly.
Laying there so alone and her feelings so raw, Amelia couldn’t help but feel as if all the walls were coming down around her. She’d put her career before her love life and it had come right back to hit her square in the ass.
Not only had Alex left her, but her career had been put at risk. Matthews would help if he could, but he was only one head above her on the totem pole. If their superiors decided this bond she’d developed with Mr. Howard presented a security risk or that it might influence her in some negative way, she could find herself out of a job or worse.
Never in her life had she felt so vulnerable and that was saying something. She’d been ostracized by her family because of what they considered poor ‘life-style choices’, demonized by strangers for the same reason and called a freak or worse because of her abilities. She’d taken all those things in stride, picked up all the pieces each time her life fell apart and moved on. She’d found a new life and purpose at AEGIS, something she’d been sorely missing in her youth, but now all that was threatened.
She thought of Chemosh, shivering as she recalled that look of pure malevolence in his eyes. Whoever, or whatever this being was, he needed to be stopped at all costs. She still knew very little about him or her, but from what she had seen he would not hesitate to kill anyone who got in his way. She shuddered anew, thinking of the way he had possessed that man and discarded his previous host without a second thought. Then there was what Ashtar had said that he would make the world burn.
Amelia stood and crane her neck around frowning as she took note of Alex’s things scattered through the room. She sighed, and turned away.
She blinked, a thought occurring to her. The name Chemosh had sounded familiar the first time Matthew had mentioned it and she thought she knew why. Moving through the house, she made her way back into the living room and found the bookshelf in the corner retrieving one book in particular. The bible her grandmother had given her on the day she’d been baptized.
It had been a long time since she even flipped the cover open let alone turn the pages. She wasn’t even sure why she’d kept it. The Bible didn’t exactly speak very highly of people like her.
Amelia was not a religious person, but she still remembered bible studies with her family as a child. She’d spent countless hour having scripture after scripture grilled in her head. She could still recite many of them from memory. She thumbed through the pages and stopped in Numbers 21:29.
“Woe to thee, Moab! Thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.”
She paused, furrowed her eyebrows and let the verse sink in. People of Chemosh? What could that mean?
She thumbed through the pages hoping to find some other reference and had almost given up hope when she stopped in 1 Kings 11:33.
“Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites…”
She stopped, without even bothering to finish the verse. She sank into her favorite arm chair, her mind racing as she bounced the name around over and over in her head. What possible significance could this be? This being she’d seen in her viewings couldn’t honestly be some ancient Moabite god, could he? It seemed far more likely that he must have taken the name. She thought there might be some clue, but try as she might she couldn’t reason it out.
She glanced at the verse one final time, and realized she’d overlooked something. The name Ashtoreth, seemed awfully similar to Ashtar. There must be some significance! Determined to find an answer the Agent moved across the room, bible in hand and made her way to the corner of the room, flipping open her laptop and set the holy book down beside it.
Amelia didn’t know what she was looking for, but she knew the answers must be out there somewhere.