Death’s Angel. Last snippet of this section

The centurion didn’t help her with learning to read and write their language as he had promised. He sent Nyka in his place. Azriel still wanted to please the centurion above everything, despite her constant attempts to neutralize his venom. His absence robbed her of the ability to judge her progress.
Nyka had set the portable unit up for her and showed her how to key the screen; activate the voice mode and how to interact with it. Aside from this, she was left completely on her own. Buzzing from the food hatch, to announce a meal break at regular intervals, became her way of marking time. Notably, the food was the same as had been given out to the captive women in the holding pens. At least the centurion’s task gave her something to occupy her attention. She wanted to master the skill since it would be easier to navigate her way through the ship if she could read the directions, if that is what they were, posted at the intersection of corridors.
The worst part of her isolation was increasingly vivid dreams. They always started in an Angel holding cell where all her kind were gathered; a rare event in itself. She could see them but not make them hear her or see her. This was the point when she started awake, still screaming at them to notice her. And then came the last, most horrific dream of all. She had watched what the Angels were doing this time, instead of trying to make them notice her.
Azriel woke shaking, covered with a cold sweat. Only once had an Angel died without having an immediate body replacement. Uriel had been more than a friend to her when they got a chance to spend rare time together. Like her, he was an assassin, although no-one would guess from looking at him. His curling blond hair cascaded to his shoulders, framing a face of classical proportions. Deep-set blue eyes sparkled with mischief when he was around her. Added to the good looks, in her opinion, was the fact that no one supplied the Angels with a means to shave during non-working times. His beard came through about four shades darker than his hair, making him look like a charming rogue.
Both Coda and Azriel had been with Uriel on his last mission. It should have been an easy break-in for Coda to access the mainframe data base. Something had gone wrong. They were expected. Heavy duty weapons fired at them without warning. Azriel found a way for them to get clear when a shell blew a hole in a security perimeter wall. She turned to call to the others and saw Uriel’s body drop to the ground. His handsome head had been blown clean away: gone into a million pieces of mush and bone. He couldn’t be regenerated without his memories. He was really dead; forever. It was Coda who got them clear that day. Azriel didn’t remember how; everything was a blur from that moment on.
Back at base, she turned her face to the wall in their underground cell, ignoring Coda’s attempts to reach her mind. One by one all the Angels had been thrust into the cold, dimly lit rock cavern. They gathered around her in silence, all withdrawn from assignments while the controllers searched for the breach of security. When the last Angel arrived they began making a marker for the fallen.
Grieving together, the Angels carved Uriel’s name in the rock floor, taking turns to pound it with a hand-sized piece of harder stone someone had managed to smuggle in past the guards. No one investigated the noise. No one came near to give them food or water beyond what was already in the holding cell. Not one of them spoke. The sound of the stone pounding echoed for days and nights until they had finished. They did this for the one who was never coming home to them.
In her dream, she had seen them pounding with the stone again, heard the sharp beat going on and on until they all gathered around in silence, looking down. When they moved aside, she saw another name under Uriel’s . . . Her own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s