In the Book of Revelation, a man named John has a prophetic dream. He dreams of the final prophecies that will come to pass – and the seven archangels that guard them. Each angel waits to sound their trumpet at God’s appointed time, preparing humanity to fight and win the final battle.
2,000 years later, Father Chris Mognahan is a member of the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that studies Biblical omens. The society asks Chris to investigate an unusually grotesque crime – a murder on a college campus where the killer's hand literally burned off the victim's face. While the killing seems isolated at first, the society ties the murder to the final Biblical prophecy and a terrifying omen that the order of the prophecies is about to be disrupted. The final battle is coming too soon – long before humanity is prepared to win it.
Suddenly, Chris finds himself fighting against time and hell to keep the prophecies in order and stop an early Armageddon. He is joined by a band of unlikely allies, and together they find themselves in Rome above the Vatican Necropolis – the city of the dead – where the future is revealed to them in ancient texts.
They are not alone, however; an evil as old as time itself hunts them. As they travel across continents on their mission, the demonic force follows relentlessly, waiting in every shadowed corner, and every dark place.
As Armageddon descends, Father Chris finds that his only hope lies in a young woman within the group who has a secret gift – and their belief that God Himself may have sent her to keep the final angelic trumpet from sounding out the early end of the Earth.
Lorenze strapped his uniform on, knowing where every clasp and buckle fell exactly. Still, something about it felt foreign: he had not worn it in several days. Several very, very long days.
The red, blue and yellow stripes that Michelangelo designed for the guard centuries earlier: many men fell under those colors. He knew their names by heart. And he promised to join them if called to…
…Lorenze propelled himself to the other side of the room where the society had left a small stockpile of weapons. He pulled out the sniper’s rifle case and its box of bullets. With hard clicks, he opened the case to see that all was in order. The parts gleamed and winked at him in the light like so many eyes.
More gently, Lorenze lifted the sight from the case. It was heavy to his hand. He put it to his eye and some miniscule scratch in the floor became like a canyon.
Thou shalt not kill. Lorenze smirked and put the sight down. Thou shalt not kill unless God asks you to. Thou shalt not kill unless God needs you to.
Lorenze closed the case. He surveyed the room, looked again at the uniform. He only had a few minutes left. He knelt to pray.
But what was there to pray for? Should he pray for their lives, for their safety? Could he ask that God grant them success on a murder mission? Should he pray for time or protection, or just for the world not to die?
In the end with his last few minutes, Lorenze prayed for the soul of another assassin. One who also betrayed innocence for the greater good. Remiel had, after all, been right – they were in common with a certain other fallen disciple. And so, with his eyes squeezed shut, Lorenze prayed for mercy for Judas Iscariot. For if Judas – that tool of fate led to betray history’s most innocent man – was able to find God’s forgiveness, perhaps so might he.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carrie enjoys the smell of old books, New York riesling, late night jogging and thunderstorms, though not in that order. Storytelling is Carrie's secret life. While she looks into all the dark corners by night, by day she is an advertising copywriter and account manager.
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