Title: WAR ETERNAL: ANGELS’ WHISPERS
Author: J.F. Cain
Author: J.F. Cain
Alex Meyers, a dynamic, global entrepreneur, has an advantage that no other human has ever had: he is protected by Aranes, the Superior of the Angels. While he is skiing, he dies in an avalanche, but his all-powerful protector breaks one of the ethereal world’s most important Rules and brings him back to life. Alex falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Angel, who appears to him in human form. But she disappears just as suddenly as she had appeared.
While he searches for Aranes, Alex discovers her true identity and that he actually might be the high-ranking Celestial Abaddon, who is mentioned in the Revelations prophecy as the one who will defeat Lucifer.
The man who fate has thrust among the world’s superpowers is now living a nightmare. He wants to evade Lucifer’s pursuit, find out who he truly is and once again see the only being he has ever loved. And the only way to do it is to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Angels’ Whispers is the beginning of an epic tale set in modern times. The eternal war between Light and Darkness is at a critical turning point: Angels and Demons, invisible to mortal beings, battle for dominance in the physical world, while Guardians, Vampires and Werewolves, who live among the humans, find themselves on opposing sides in a deadly power game.
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In the sphere of invisible reality, where eternity’s whispers divulge primordial secrets, resided an immortal being of formidable power. Hidden behind the veil that covered timeless creation, the otherworldly entity watched the events unfolding in the world of the manifest forms. Inside a rain of pictures and sounds, her numinous perception rapidly surveyed all the important events taking place on earth at the time. Finally, her awareness stopped at a Gulfstream G650, flying at 25,000 feet above Maryland, bathed in the morning sun's light.
Her supernatural sight penetrated the private jet unhindered. Inside the luxurious passenger cabin with the gray leather furnishing, two men sat in armchairs next to a row of round windows. Both of them were absorbed in their reading, only occasionally glancing at the streaming display of market quotes that flashed on the television across from them accompanied by the muted voice of the Bloomberg financial analyst.
The unworldly entity concentrated on one of them, Alexander Meyers.
Alex, as his few friends and associates called him, was studying an upcoming project on his laptop resting on the table in front of him. He was a physicist, and the owner of a fast-growing company supplying ecological energy, his own invention. At thirty-eight, he was enjoying global success.
He defied the rule that people with exceptional minds cannot also be equally exceptional in looks. Alex was, in a word, striking, and not simply because of his dark, expensive suit. He was tall, with a muscular, athletic build. He radiated strength and a certain magnetism that made him stand out from those around him. His dark chestnut hair, attractive face, and well-proportioned features made up a whole that deserved to be acknowledged as a prime example of male beauty, but the crowning feature was his eyes. They were the dark blue color of a stormy sea, complete with waves, formed by fine silver lines radiating outward from the pupil to the edge of the iris. Though barely visible, they were enough to lend his gaze a riveting force.
Alex looked up at the man opposite him reading a lengthy document.
Four years older than Alex, David Carson was also an attractive man–blond, with blue eyes, but with a calmer strength about him. There was something about his face: an interesting clash between transparency and mystery that made it impossible for even the most perceptive observer to discern his intentions. A successful attorney and the chief legal advisor in the company, he was the person closest to his boss who enjoyed something that Alex did not offer easily: his trust.
The two of them had met at MIT, when Alex was a freshman and David was there for his graduate degree in technology and environmental law. Neither had any family. Only Alex had some distant relatives, scattered around the States, with whom he had no contact. As the oldest and undeniably more mature of the two, David had from the beginning assumed the role of big brother to his wild, but brilliant, young friend, who had challenged social and academic conventions and flustered his physics professors with his startling ideas and cutting-edge theories. Despite their different characters, they also shared enough attributes to have formed a special bond over their many years of friendship. They confirmed the saying “strength in unity”. They were a powerful pair that the business world regarded with a mixture of envy and respect.
“So, what do you think?” Alex asked David.
David rested the folder on the table and loosened the knot on his tie. Even after so many years of having to wear a suit for work, he had still not grown used to the constriction around his neck. Ties were one of the rare annoyances for this man with an otherwise enviable self-control.
“The bill clearly leaves you room to maneuver as you want,” he declared.
Alex nodded with an expression that indicated he was not expecting a different answer.
“I’m glad to hear it.”
“I’m sure you are. It’s not easy to dodge your competitors’ obstacles.”
“I’m taking advantage of their own loopholes,” said Alex indifferently.
For him it was only fair to turn his competitor’s weapons against them rather than on the defenseless. So he had no qualms about taking advantage of anything he could find in the law that he could use in this open warfare.
David refrained from reminding his friend that first and foremost, they should be fair to themselves, and perhaps approach the subject from a different angle.
“So, other than work, what else is going on? Have you made plans to see Claire?”
Alex began to rifle irritably through the papers spread out on the table. It was his usual reaction when a discussion turned to personal matters. When he was away from his office—although he managed to convert anywhere he was into his workplace—he always found a way to show that he had better things to do. But that day, his reaction was not enough to discourage David’s persistence.
“Is that your answer?” David pressured him.
“Why should I see her?” Alex asked, setting aside a thick sheaf of papers bearing the US Energy Department’s logo.
“I don’t know, is there any other reason than wanting to be together?”
“I’m not interested,” replied Alex with an expression that implied he was not willing to discuss the matter any further.
“Here we go again!” David leaned forward, trying to catch his friend’s attention. “You have to do something with your life.”
Alex looked up from the pack of diagrams he was sorting, his eyes grave.
“My work is my life. Besides, romance is overrated.”
“But necessary,” David shot back. “You can’t always be alone.”
“I’m not alone all the time. Here we are.”
“The small breaks you take to meet your biological needs don’t meet your emotional needs,” his friend insisted with calm certainty.
Alex lowered his gaze again to the papers in front of him.
“It’s enough for me.”
“It doesn’t look like it.”
“I’m not one for excessive displays of emotion.” He pulled out a diagram from the pack, leaned back and pretended to study it. “People are, for the most part, a disappointment. The only thing they’re interested in is catering to their psychological and material needs. Most don’t even know the basics about themselves.”
“Not everyone is the same,” David argued. “I think Claire is quite emotionally mature, and also very much in love with you.”
“That’s the problem,” admitted Alex. “I can never return her feelings. So it’s better if I break it off while it’s still early.”
David gave him a searching look.
“Are you trying to protect her or get rid of a burden?”
“Let’s just say that it’s a choice where we both end up winning.”
“Or losing,” David added.
“There is no reason why I should stay in a relationship that doesn’t give me what I want,” replied Alex with a tone that betrayed him being annoyed by the subject matter.
“And what is it that you want?”
Alex tossed the diagram onto the table.
“I know what I want, and maybe one day I’ll find it,” he said with a slight melancholy in his gaze.
At one time, there had been no “maybe”. But after years of fruitless searching he had realized that even charismatic individuals weren’t immune to the rule that “you cannot have it all”.
David gestured towards the window next to them.
“Look outside, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for there.”
“What do you mean?” Alex scowled.
“That you might be able to find the woman of your dreams up here, because a being such as the one you imagine may not even exist on Earth,” David replied. “Or, wait,” he raised his palm to stop his friend who was about to protest. “Maybe the invasion of an alien race would solve your problem, or a custom-made robot.”
“In that case, I’ll order one for you, too,” Alex shot back. “It seems that you’re not faring any better.”
“I’ve reconciled myself to it, whereas you haven’t. It’s obvious that you’re lacking something.”
Alex bypassed the comment.
“All this because I don’t want to take Claire with us this weekend?” he asked suspiciously.
“What are you going to do on your own in Aspen?”
“You don’t ski, you attempt suicide,” David said with a pointed look, and then went on in an attempt to change his friend’s mind: “I was thinking that if Claire came with us, you’d be polite enough to stay with her and I wouldn’t have to fly around in a helicopter, scouring the mountains and canyons searching for you. Besides, she’s very pleasant company; she’ll help you to relax.”
His elbows resting on the armrests and his fingers interlaced, Alex pensively regarded David.
“Can you tell me what’s got into you?” he asked calmly. “You’ve been getting into my personal life more and more lately.”
“I see you becoming increasingly isolated, and that isn’t helping you at all,” David explained in the same tone.
“I find solitude immensely constructive.”
And very dangerous, thought David. He knew that the minds of people with high IQs worked differently from other people’s, which made them vulnerable to psychological disorders. There had been many cases where distinguished scientists, philosophers and artists had become victims of their intellectual singularity, which had destroyed their lives. Alex had for months been showing such symptoms and David, having noted the change, kept on inventing various excuses to be close to him. Through activities and ideological debates, he tried to limit his friend’s introversion and preserve his intellectual equilibrium. And he had a very serious reason for doing this.
Alex unlaced his fingers and sat up.
“Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to focus on my work. The contract we’re after is very important,” he said, putting an abrupt end to the conversation.
He opened a file with statistical data on his laptop and immediately became engrossed. Once he had decided something, no one could change his mind.
David realized that there was no point in continuing to pressure his stubborn friend. He turned away, and his gaze became lost in the vast sky outside the airplane window.
“I’m not worried about that. In business, you seem to be more favored than anyone,” he said, giving up on trying to change Alex’s mind.
Unlike the dead ends in his private life, Alex’s professional life boasted many successes. His company was growing beyond all expectations. In ten years he had succeeded in becoming one of the major players in the energy industry, a fact for which he was highly resented by his established competitors, who vainly struggled to arrest his growth.
Alex did not reply. The project he was going to Washington for was important, of course, but right now he was using it as an excuse to avoid any further analyses of his love life, or rather its non-existence. Not that he considered it a strictly private matter. Other than his personal moments that he kept to himself, he shared everything else with David. It was just that he didn’t want to poke at his only existential wound. He had never been able to fall in love like other people did. He had never touched or looked at a woman in the way that many of them touched and looked at him. This significant experience was so foreign to him, it was as if he carried a curse.
Until he had turned thirty-five, he had subconsciously covered this lack with some short-lived excitements, and each time he had hoped that something would change. But despite all his efforts, this tactic had not borne any fruit. Disappointed, he had accepted his emotional inadequacy and had gradually withdrawn into himself. In the last three years he had made very few, reluctant efforts to form a relationship and, despite what he said, he knew very well that no one else was to blame for his inability to love. Something inside him stopped him from giving himself wholeheartedly. An indefinable barrier kept him shackled in the torment of loneliness.
The two men exchanged very few words until the private jet landed at Reagan National Airport in Washington half an hour later. A black Mercedes was waiting to take them to 1000 Independence Avenue, the headquarters of the US Department of Energy.
When they arrived, David remained in the lobby. Alex, accompanied by a member of staff, went up to the third floor and entered a conference room. The committee that was to examine his proposal was waiting for him there: four men and a woman, all over fifty, were sitting around a large, oval table, with folders open in front of them. He greeted them civilly and went to stand across from the committee chair, who was sitting at the one end of the table. Before taking a seat in the black leather chair behind him, he rested his briefcase on the table, removed a folder from inside, then closed the briefcase and put it on the floor.
“We’re ready to hear your proposal, Mr. Meyers,” said the committee chair and gestured for him to start.
In a clear, energetic and engaging presentation, Alex offered the data analyzing the comparative advantages of his proposal and also highlighted the irreversible ecological destruction caused by the widespread use of petroleum and other fossil fuels. He continued about the dangers of nuclear energy: radioactive waste and the residues of nuclear accidents remained intact in nature for hundreds of years, condemning millions of people to death from incurable diseases.
The committee chair, the woman and another man were listening carefully; the other two looked bored and indifferent.
Alex entered the last stretch of his presentation:
“In the last few years my company has invested millions of dollars in research and development in alternative energy sources, and I believe the result has vindicated these efforts. My proposal revolutionizes the energy sector and provides access to cleaner and cheaper energy to more consumers than we thought possible.”
Frank Brenner, one of the two men who seemed to be against the proposal, smirked.
“Let’s talk business, Mr. Meyers. We all know that your company’s primary interest is to make a profit.”
Alex heard what Brenner really intended to say: “Don’t pretend you’re interested in protecting the planet. We’re not so stupid as to believe you.” Alex could see that some committee members already had suspicions about him. He had no such suspicions; he had facts. He had reports—a necessary business tool—that Brenner supported the interests of a major oil corporation. So was not surprised.
“I won’t disagree, but for me profit and innovation must go hand in hand.”
“Mr. Meyers is not obliged to defend his intentions,” the man sitting next to Brenner remarked sharply. “This proposal has many advantages we need to seriously consider.”
Alex watched as these two rivals sized-up each other. What would be their next move?
Another member of the committee, who worked behind the scenes for one of Alex’s competitors, entered the discussion:
“Exactly what advantages?” he asked, his baffled expression implying that he, for one, couldn’t see any.
The woman sitting next to him found it difficult to conceal her displeasure. People who sold out without caring about the future, not even their children’s, disgusted her. Unfortunately, she had no proof that would help her throw Brenner and him off the committee.
“Advantages for whom? For the planet, people or your shareholders?” she asked back with undisguised frostiness.
Alex intervened, rescuing the man who had opened his mouth to protest. A dispute between the members could cause the committee to issue no decision at all, and that would not serve his purpose.
“We all know that energy resources are not inexhaustible, and every day we have more and more protests against the environmental pollution caused by other forms of energy. If we also take into account the current economic crisis, the one hundred thousand new jobs created for this project would be good publicity for your party and you. And from what the opinion polls show, you really need it.”
“You have quite an aggressive strategy,” said Brenner, his sarcastic tone barely hiding the hint of a threat.
“I thought we were talking business,” Alex retorted in the same tone.
“This meeting is not the place for personal confrontations,” the chairman intervened, glancing sharply at his colleague.
He made no comment to Alex; he thought it only reasonable that he would react that way to Brenner’s insulting behavior. He did not wheel and deal with high-ranking officials and political leaders and he had the moral right to put the sell-out in his place.
In the short, but tense, silence that followed, a high-frequency sound began to penetrate Alex’s head, becoming louder and louder. Without betraying the slightest disturbance, he discreetly pressed his left ear, trying to stop the noise.
The vibrations in the room were changing their frequency constantly, influenced by the entrance of a supernatural being in the material plane. Suddenly, a pulsating cloud of light began to take shape behind the committee chair, quickly condensing into a female form. Those present would have been shocked had they been able to see the otherworldly entity that appeared—a presence visible only to Brenner’s eyes, or rather the eyes of the being hidden inside him. Making sure that no one was watching him, he turned to look at her. For fractions of a second his eyes glowed red with a burning hatred, and then immediately returned to their normal color.
A radiant, silvery blue aura surrounded the transcendental being’s ethereal body, extending around her in gentle undulations. A cascade of long strawberry blonde hair framed her exquisite face, accentuating her strange-colored eyes. They were neither light blue, nor gray, nor white, but a blend of all three colors that gave her irises a shade that was rare even for the world from which she came. She wore a long, ice blue dress and an ice blue overcoat that flared out at the elbows and hips. It was fastened at the chest with two platinum chains linked to four facing buttons. Her compelling presence exuded gentleness and power, as she stood there serenely in all her majesty, emitting the resplendent light of her sublime nature. She was not just any Angel. She was Aranes, the Superior of the Angels.
Coolly, she cast Brenner an expressionless glance before leaning over the chair’s shoulder.
“Oscar,” she whispered in his ear, “this is not just the same old, everyday decision. Humanity’s future depends on it as well as the planet that was created for its prosperity.” Your responsibility goes beyond the office you hold. Your decision must be in the interest of life.”
She said nothing more, but remained standing behind him, keeping him within the positive influence of her aura. Meanwhile, she was scanning Alex's aura. He had perceived the disturbance caused to the invisible cosmic force energies from her entrance in the material field, yet he was not sure what caused it. However, he did not miss the committee chair’s brief startled expression and he was looking at him with discreet curiosity.
The chairman never understood why memories of his childhood awakened in his mind. Of the days when he played naked with his friends under the sun without giving a thought to ultraviolet radiation, or when he cupped his hands to drink water from a nearby spring without caring about bacteria or poisons. When his gaze did not stumble on the gray walls of enormous apartment buildings, but got lost in varicolored horizons, and the air he breathed was neither smoggy nor polluted with carbon and sulfur dioxide. Of those days when he never felt the suffocating fear he now felt about his children’s future, and the future of the twin grandchildren that his daughter had brought into the world a few months ago.
The committee chairman snapped back to reality, wondering at the sudden awakening of his conscience, of the sensitivity which he thought had faded with the passing of his youth and his entry in the tough adult world. His decision was not merely made, it dominated his entire being.
He leaned forward and spread his hands on the table.
“It seems that mine is the deciding vote,” he said, looking at his subordinates one by one. “Personally, I believe that the proposal has a number of features that are hard to ignore.” He turned to Alex: “I like it, Mr. Meyers. I’m going to support it.”
Alex nodded. If he felt vindicated, it did not show on his face. He had learned to hide his feelings so as not to reveal aspects of his character that would make it possible for someone, especially his competitors, to predict his reactions. And, when he achieved a professional victory, he thought it foolish to provoke his enemies without reason by smiling complacently.
Brenner and the other member who had opposed the proposal closed their folders with a measure of disappointment. The woman and her like-minded colleague smiled, pleased with the decision.
Aranes slowly crossed the room and went to stand behind Alex’s left shoulder. As expressionless as he, she let her gaze sink into Brenner’s eyes. A dark energy, like a cloud of smoke, began to come out of the man’s body. A few moments later, behind his back, the energy took the insubstantial form of another entity: Asmodeus.
The Archdemon of Eregkal was tall and muscular. Long black hair framed his harsh, sharply angular face and fell freely over his shoulders. He wore dark pants tucked inside his high black boots, a long coat, and elbow-length gloves, all in black leather. His dark aura whirled around him, betraying his irritation at the confrontation’s outcome.
With the arrogance of Demons, who are unwilling to admit defeat, he calmed his aura and winked at Aranes.
“Good work, Princess. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
The Superior of the Angels watched impassively as Asmodeus disappeared, taking with him his strong negative influence. The dominance of the positive celestial energy changed the atmosphere in the room. The humans felt better, except for Brenner, who seemed somewhat dazed.
Aranes rested her hand on Alex’s shoulder as he collected his papers.
“You did it, Alex,” she said softly.
He heard her gentle, unearthly voice and felt an inexplicable wave of warmth pass through him. He went completely numb. For a brief moment, he stopped gathering his papers and held his breath.
The Angel moved away from him and, as she had done countless times before, observed him with interest, thinking how special he was. Humans couldn’t hear the voices of Ethereals or sense their presence, unless an entity wanted to communicate with them—something that happened rarely and only to spiritually advanced individuals who had dedicated their lives to full knowledge of the transcendental. But Alexander Meyers was a prominent scientist and businessman, the epitome of rationalism, and his inner explorations always had objective facts as their starting point. Yet he felt her presence and heard her voice, even though she had not intended it. Why did this happen?
Alex recovered and closed the folder. He shot a quick glance at the people present. They were all gathering their own papers and, thankfully, no one had noticed his momentary confusion. If over the weekend there circulated a rumor on the ever-wakeful market that he had some mental problem—and Brenner would be more than willing to spread it—then on Monday, as soon as Wall Street opened, his company’s stocks would begin to slide. He picked up his bag from the floor and rested it on the table. He opened it, threw in the folder, said a polite goodbye and left the room.
Aranes watched him leave, understanding that this was not over, but rather the beginning of something. But neither could yet fully understand what that could be.