By Owen Quin author of the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues
A brand new story from the Time Warriors series. A romantic weekend in the seaside town of Ballybraken is disturbed when an ancient evil rears its head intent on taking over the planet. What is the End? Who are Legion? And what lies hidden beneath the sea? The Time Warriors fall one by one leaving Earth at the mercy of an evil no one ever imagined existed.
The Veldrox stood in the Abbott’s office with three of the monks standing arms folded like bodyguards. One of them was Collins who stood watching every move the creature made, completely enraptured by its presence. It had browsed the various holy portraits and was staring at a painting of the heavens opening with a plethora of angels looking toward a golden light. It snorted and paced along the wall. Something caught its attention. Collins saw it was a statue of an angel holding flowers and staring down at the ground. The Veldrox was standing facing it regarding it almost with melancholy. It was as if he were watching an abstract painting of the depiction of the dual side of nature. This massive being was echoing the stance of the stone angel sent from heaven through the hands of a human sculptor.
“What is it my Lord? Does the statue offend you?” Collins asked.
“No my brother. It has just occurred to me that carvings such as this epitomise what I have been saying all along. Look at it, look at all the statues such as this. What do you see?”
The monks exchanged puzzled glances. They had seen the sculptures every day and they had become invisible to them. They were simply there. The Veldrox smiled at their silence.
“Sorrow. Look how its face is filled with despair and pain. It holds a rose, a thing of beauty yet it finds no joy in the handiwork of God or the flower’s intricacy. If an angel cannot find pleasure in the simplest of things made by Him, then how can it find the joy in Him?” It shook its head sadly, exaggerating slightly for the monks’ benefit. “Even the faithful have lost their faith.” It reached forward running a sympathetic finger down the statue’s cheek as if wiping away a silent tear. “No wonder they all look so miserable.” It raised its clawed fist and smashed it through the chest of the angel leaving breathless silence amid the others. “So it will be with all false images.”
Brother Finnegan entered quietly as if afraid he was intruding on the creature. He paused, taking a moment to look at the Veldrox, the thing that had spoken to them in their dreams for so long. It was certainly impressive in stature and they had already seen first hand how its influence had brought the rig crew together, a gift that was about to spread to the town. It may look like a cross between a well honed bat and wolf and its thick folded wings looked as delicate as a snowflake but Finnegan had no doubt they were powerful enough to carry it into the air in a heartbeat. Or slice an enemy in two with no effort.
He cleared his throat politely waiting for it to acknowledge him. It did so, turning from the statue. It seemed so upset by its observation of the angel and yet the monks were hanging on its every word.
“How can a world survive when its faith is based on an entity that refuses to show itself? How can a merciful God allow so much pain and suffering and justify it by claiming it is part of a plan which your kind will only see when you die?” It turned to look at the timid monk. “I find that the work of cowardice. Has anyone ever asked why God is a coward?”
“Well, not exactly in those terms but you know why we bow to your wisdom,” offered Finnegan, catching the eye of the Abbott who had entered the office.
“All parties are ready my Lord,” reported Brother Finnegan bowing before the Veldrox. There was no fear in the man’s demeanour. In fact he was behaving like he had just found a long lost family member around which the whole world now revolved. “But there is no word from our brethren that went after Varran and the others.”
“Give them time. That man brought about the end of his world. He is not to be underestimated but he forgot we had his devices. I doubt he will be expecting a direct attack on his Juggernaught. Oh, if you could see what I saw in Rachel’s mind, the splendour of infinity.” It closed its eyes allowing the memories to wash over it, a deep warmth welling up in its soul. It turned and put its hand on Collins’ shoulder. “I cannot wait to share it with you all.”
The computer on the Abbott’s table pinged as an email came through. Swiftly the Abbott went to his seat, swivelling round in his brown leather bound chair. He read what was on the screen before meeting the expectant look from the others.
“We are ready.” The Veldrox inclined its head respectfully.
“Then let it begin my brothers. Bring forth the Legion!” Suddenly its head snapped sideways. It leapt, smashing through the window and hurled itself outside. The monks ran forward but quickly lost it in the starry sky. The Abbott turned to his brethren.
“We do not question his actions. Take your positions!” he bellowed as they bowed and hurried out of the room.