Whoops. I forgot I was supposed to post this yesterday. I hope y’all will forgive me for that lapse. I let Facebook chatting get in my way. I’m sorry. Here’s the next raw section of Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A.:
Warm rays of light crept into the cave. Where they touched her skin, pores opened and hair follicles rose. Birds began to sing louder and chipmunks began to chatter. Far above her, the flap of bat wings could be heard as they returned to their roost. Jennifer’s arms rose above her head as she stretched into wakefulness. She sat up, rubbing her eyes. She looked around, not remembering where she was. As the cave grew brighter, she remembered: she had been searching for her friend Danni. She jumped to her feet. The sound of metal and leather bouncing across stone caused her to look down. About a foot away was the pure white sword she had found when the monster attacked. She picked it up and peered intently at it. ‘Carter called this his,’ she thought. ‘What did he mean by that? Does he own it, or did he make it?’
Mentally shrugging, she pulled the blade from it’s sheathe. Warmth spread through her hand and up her arm. Within seconds, the warmth had suffused her body. She felt completely awake now. A lightness filled her limbs so she felt she could fly. A huge smile spread across her face. She was ready for anything now! Shoes scrapped over rock, sending pebbles skittering against the far wall. Jennifer whirled, holding her sword up to attack. A tall silhouette of a man stood in the cave opening.
“Relax, Kirei-kun. It’s just me.”
At the sound of Rob’s familiar voice, she slumped. Her lips parted in a slow smile and she let out a shaky laugh. “It’s good to see you, Worthington. I never thought I’d say that.”
His eyes crinkled as he stepped further into the light. He had the usual big grin on his face when he looked at her. “If that’s what lets you sleep at night, Kirei.”
She laughed. “What are you doing here?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing.”
“I ran from a winged woman and a tall guy in purplish-green armor. I tripped as I was running and fell into a creek. When I got up, I saw this cave. Something told me to come up here. When I did, I saw the wood stacked for a fire. I lit it, and fell asleep.”
Rob wrapped his arms around her and hugged tightly. “I’m so glad you are safe, Kirei. I was worried about you.”
Heat suffused her body at his words. How long had it been since someone had worried about her? Jennifer gently pushed him back. “What are you doing, Worthington?”
Suddenly remembering that she didn’t like to be touched like that, he flushed. “Sorry. I forgot.”
She gave him a small smile of forgiveness. “Don’t apologize. It doesn’t mean anything about you. Do you have any Capones? I could really use one right about now.”
“Don’t be mean to my Kirei.”
Jennifer rolled her eyes and sighed. “I’m nice to Kirei. The smoke would help calm my nerves.”
Rob pointed at the sword at her hip. “Nice sword. Where’d you get it?”
Glancing down, she lifted the white blade a few inches from it’s sheathe. “I found it after I was attacked by a monster, near a fake body.”
“A fake body?”
“Yeah. I originally thought it was Danni.” She shuddered. “It looked so much like her. Or, half of her. Then, this big, fanged monster attacked me. I shot it with the gun you gave me, but it didn’t do any good.”
“Where is the gun?”
“I lost it. Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. What happened to the monster, Kirei?”
“Someone killed it. I don’t know who, but I think it was whoever has been following me.”
“Someone has been following you?” Concern filled his voice.
“I’m not sure, but it feels like it. I never actually seen anyone, though. You never answered my question, Worth.”
He grinned. “Still shortening my last name?” She just looked steadily at him. He sighed, and decided to stop evading. “Alright. Most of this,” he gestured around them, “was intended as a test. The people I work for were considering on whether to recruit you for our organization. You weren’t supposed to find out about beings like Carter and Lilith right away. It was going to be a gradual easing in, but she fucked that up.”
“What are you talking about, Worthington?”
Before he could get much further, Carter appeared before them. The dark-haired man was still in his odd-looking armor. He sighed. “I have bad news, my friend. The Fist of Ra has been stolen. It’s how she was able to make contact with Jennifer.”
“That sucks,” Rob said mildly. He scrubbed his face with both hands, suddenly looking exhausted. “It never stops, does it?”
“It does not, Rob.”
Jennifer raised her hand. “Um, excuse me, what is going on?”
Carter turned to her while Rob sat on a stone outcropping and held his head in his hands.
“The Fist of Ra. It is a mystical object created by the old gods to seal Lilith away from this and your universes.”
“That sounds bad,” she said. “So what?”
Carter’s brows drew together, and he rubbed his chin. He opened his mouth, began to say something and closed it again. After doing this twice more, it became clear he was at a loss for words. Rob glanced up in time to see the Walker’s confusion. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. “She was still being tested, Carter.”
“By all the hells. Those thieves really screwed thing up, didn’t they, Rob?”
Carter looked back at Jennifer again. She was leaning slightly towards him, her lips parted somewhat. Rob said, “Remember, Kirei: Curiosity killed the cat.”
She didn’t even look in his general direction, just flapped her hand at him and shushed him. Rob grinned and waited for Carter to begin.
He ran his fingers through his long hair and stared off into space for a moment. “Long ago,” Carter began. “There were many gods. They created your universe and populated it. They were happy with their creations for many years until She came. No one knew where she came from, or at least, none would admit to it. She was initially a gorgeous human woman. She had chocolate-brown hair, long legs and a voluptuous, curvy figure. So, it was no surprise that she began to persuade the human rulers so easily to forget their old gods and begin to worship a new one. For this crime against them, the old gods sealed her away from the worlds. As she dwelled in her prison, her hatred and anger at the old ones warped her to the form you saw earlier.
“The old gods faded from existence as time passed and the new god grew in popularity. When the new god came into being from humanities worship, he divinely knew what had happened to his predecessors. However, for some reason, he didn’t have any knowledge of me, or my job. He created the sword Rob wields to protect his domain from others like Lilith that may appear. It has the power to slay a deity, just as I do.”
Jennifer blinked. She sat down on the ground, hard. She had a glassy, faraway look in her eyes. Rob walked over and took her hand with his left and cupped her cheek with his right.
“It’s alright, Kirei,” he said softly. “I know it’s a lot to take in.”
She blinked and focused on him. “Why was I being tested?”
Rob swallowed visibly. “Because you were chosen to join the organization I work for. We investigate things like Lilith and aid the Walker of Worlds were we can.”
Jennifer’s right eyebrow arched upwards. “Walker of Worlds?”
Rob pointed to Carter. She peered at the imposing man. He stood, arms folded, gazing at the horizon. A light breeze played with his hair. He must have sensed her looking at him because he turned and stared into her hazel eyes. He gave a slow smile, and she felt herself get a little damp.
“Robert Worthington, I leave Ms. Steel’s education in your capable hands. There are other matters to which I must attend.”
With that, Carter Blake, Walker of Worlds, vanished. Rob stood upright and helped Jennifer to her feet. He then, turned and walked out of the cave. She followed him and stopped for a moment, taking in the beauty surrounding her. From her vantage point, about halfway up a mountain, the forest spread out for miles around. The bright, sparkling air allowed her to see how intense the green trees were. The shades ranged from Kelly all the way to celandine. The sky was a clear, perfect azure. To the east, near the horizon, was a bank of grey cumulus nimbus clouds. The air was so clean, she could see the sheets of rain beneath them. Softly, she murmured to herself, ‘I wish I had my paints and a canvas. Rob is definitely going to bring me back to this exact spot.’
She grinned as she scanned the horizon to across to the west. Her grin froze at what hung in the western sky. Looking like it was sitting on the horizon was a huge moon. What bothered her the most was the moon had a smaller moon orbiting it. As she watched, the smaller, striated moon passed in front of the larger, cratered satellite.
Jennifer looked for Rob, and saw him standing nearby, watching her. He shook his head at the questions in her eyes and beckoned for her to follow him. ‘Alright, I’ll keep my questions to myself for now,’ she thought, ‘I will get answers, though.’
What do you think?
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