Part Two: Al Deir
‘There is power here... great power, and undiscovered as yet.' the young man scanned his companions again, looking for the source that nagged his nerves. ‘They can't feel it, at least that much is certain.," he inspected each of the other boys in turn, watched them plod listlessly on in the desert heat, ‘No, they don't know.' he shook his head and returned to his search. ‘Who are you...'
"When we reach the mountains I want you to stay there." a flat nasal voice broke his concentration. Drae looked up, slowly. His deep emerald eyes never meet the cobalt pools bearing down on him but it was a response, more than the other boy had gotten all day. Heero watched the strange boy waiting impatiently for a reply. Their ‘guide' hadn't said more than two sentences the entire trip other than to point out the mountains on the horizon or haggle the price. Heero gave him one last glare and was about to kick his horse on when he responded.
"We're being followed." Heero stopped and stared at the boy in surprise, he hadn't expected that.
"Nani?" Heero scanned the horizon on all sides, not seeing anything more than the endless dunes.
"We're being followed." Drae repeated, quieter this time. Heero brought his eyes back to the boy, slowly shaking his head.
"I don't see anyone." Heero scoffed still looking warily to the distance... he could feel something though.
"Why are you here?" if not for his training Heero would have jumped at the question as Drae laid his empty eyes full now on the Wing pilot. Heero stared into the emerald abyss, and the abyss stared back.
"You don't need to know." Heero answered after a few seconds.
"Why are you here?" Drae repeated the question, softer this time with an odd tone to his voice. Heero watched the emerald depths, for a moment he thought he saw them flash an empty blue. The question hung on the air, Heero could feel himself start to answer.
"We wer-..." he started in weak voice, he stopped and shaking his head continued in his old monotone "No, you don't need to know." Heero shook the strange feeling off and turned away determined not to expose their mission.
"Why-" Drae began again.
"No." Heero stopped him in a forceful tone, Drae smiled his hollow smile.
"What could it be to have the Malak chasing you?" Drae asked more the wind than Heero. The pilot turned on him anyway. With his harshest glare he brought the emerald eyes back to his own.
"What do you know of it?" Heero gritted through his teeth. Drae smiled wider this time and shrugged.
"It matters little what I know, the question is, Master Yuy, what do *you* know." Drae smiled a malicious smile and rode on.
The pilots reached the mountains at dusk just as the sands began to cool. They left Drae at the mountain pass to wait for their return. The randezvou was deep in the heart of Petra where he dare not tread, where they dared not take him. Heero didn't like the boy, he scared Quatre and even Duo was wary of having him there for their further briefing. Drae smiled as he watched them leave then turned his eyes to the north where two tall figures stood atop a sloping dune, waiting.
The mountain pass was a narrow cavern carved out of the sandstone millennia ago by some long dried river that once flowed through the streets of Petra. The harsh desert wind howled above as they hurried through the winding way to their randezvou. They were already late. Heero began to fret about another botched mission as they passed through the cavern and into the valley of the ancient city. Tall cliff walls rose on all sides carved in intricate designs from the old Byzantine empire that dug the city from the very walls of the surrounding mountains. Duo craned his neck up at the tall building before him. Romanesque columns curved out from the stone of the cliff wall supporting the tall structure and opening to a wide door.
"Wow." The American breathed in awe. Wufei surveyed the area with mixed awe and suspicion, it was a perfect ambush point, walls on all four sides, plenty of places to hide and only one way out. Quatre smiled faintly reveling in finally getting to see the city for himself rather than browse over pictures. Heero cast an unimpressed glance over the scene checking the GPS for coordinates.
"Is this the umm... all Deer?" Duo smiled wide fumbling over the pronunciation.
"Al Deir, and no, this is the Al Khazneh." Quatre smiled to the boy, "The Al Dier is farther north."
"Hn." Heero reigned in his horse and set off northward. The others lingered a while longer but fell in quickly. Trowa watched the twilight fade over the massive valley and took out the flashlights, handing one to each pilot he cast a wary glance back and thought for a moment he saw movement on the cliff top.
* * *
"I don't like the looks of them." A quiet voice drifted over the sands.
"I don't care." The tall man replied still watching the six distant figures around the cavern mouth. Five of them broke off and headed down into the cavern's shadows. He turned to his shaded companion.
"They know we're here." the shadow announced from under a cowled hood.
"No, they don't." the man assured, casting his pale blue eyes back upon the retreating five. He watched them disappear in the night. A slender hand rested on his shoulder.
"They know, Shateiel, or at least he does." Belial smiled. Shateiel's eyes flickered on his companion in unspoken question. "Perhaps, but then they are alone now, aren't they." Belial answered unfurling wickedly hooked wings and casting off the cloak taking flight into the cold night air. Shateiel followed in a flash of white feathers.
* * *
"Al Deir" Quatre whispered in awe. The young Gundam pilots stood in the open clearing before the massive building their horses tethered to the cavern wall. ‘It should be buried under several feet of sand... how is it...?' the Arab questioned his eyes as they took in the sight. Heero scanned the area for any sign of activity.
"We're too late." He growled, "Whoever was here is gone, we've failed- again." Heero's blood boiled at the thought of failing another mission. "This is all your fault Duo no Baka!"
"What did I do!?" Duo shrieked in defense backing slowly away. "It's not My fault the stupid horse couldn't take the sand that fast!" Heero growled as the others began to move in between them.
"Don't worry, my friends, you're not late just yet." a soft voice floated down on them as Heero lunged at the American. They stopped and turned to the voice. They saw nothing at first but a gentle white light. The sound of fluttering wings echoed on the cavern walls as the light drifted down to them becoming brighter and more tangible.
"Time has a much different meaning where you shall be going." the light spoke as it stepped toward them in human form. Brilliant shining rays clung to it's finely curved body like silk as long unbound hair wavered in an unseen wind. Long smoky wings arched from it's back in a massive span of pearlescent feathers. "My name is Remiel, and I am here to guide you in your quest." the vision spoke and smiled.
The five stood watching in silent awe caught by the inexplicable beauty of the shining angel, for that is what it could only be. The angel's smile widened and it continued in a soft voice, "You have bee chosen to save the world, yet again, but this time it will be no mortal man you must face, it will be evil in it's highest right." the voice fell to a deep tenor and as the angel spoke the air around them began to swirl into a frenzied wind. "Three demons have been loosed upon the world and you must stop them." the light spread to envelope the pilots and the valley filled with the wind's howl as the angel faded from sight. "They were cast out from Yetsirah long ago when they betrayed the YHWH and have ever since been banished from all other realms but that of their prison deep in Sheol." loud and agonizing shrieks echoed off the cavern walls as the light turned red and they were encompassed by an unholy fire. The pilots shrank back from the phantoms, all but Heero who stood his ground stared out over the bloody vison to the distant cliffs above.
"Many died in their betrayal and Briah burned for their treachery." the angel continued barely suppressed hatred for the traitors tinging it's voice as the nightmarish visions of the fire swirled around them. Three figures stood out against the flames. A tall man stood amidst the chaos, his white wings burning as he lifted a sword against an attacker. The blade came down with expert precision splitting the aggressor's head before coming back up to split another. His deep azure eyes flared as he brought the sword down again. A woman in silver mail swung a heavy axe over his head downing the man sneaking up behind him. Her long dark hair shone red in the blood and fire as her coal eyes bore an empty light. Standing back watching the whole scene was a small child. Messy hair blood red and black fell into his eyes as he watched the carnage with a small smile. "They have escaped to Assiah, and you must hunt them down before they burn it as well." The angel finished and the fire died leaving only the soft white light of the moon on the empty ground before the old temple. "Hunt them down and kill them." the voice echoed in the now still wind. The five pilots stood in the now cold air. Trowa wrapped his arms gently around Quatre as the smaller boy shivered. Duo blinked at the dark shadows and Heero stared off to the south.
"How? Where will we find them?" Wufei, recovering first, asked the retreating voice.
"Through there." it whispered on a soft breeze and disappeared. Wufei turned to the others. Duo's eyes met his, wide and frightened. Wufei sighed and walked over to the American putting a hand on his trembling shoulder. The visions had been bad but nothing could compare to the sound and smell, the crackle of burning flesh and the stench of melting feathers. It was all very real and frightening, and they had to fight that. Wufei wasn't sure they could. They stood in the cold night air. Heero glanced back to the others, glared off into the distance then went to the horses. Duo watched the Japanese boy pull his saddle pack off and throw it over a strong shoulder then stride to the foot of the massive temple.
"Heero" Duo called in a soft voice. Heero turned. "Do you even know where you're going?" the American asked watching him stand before the tall stone door.
"No." Heero replied, "And I don't care."