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Chapter Four: The Chief
George Noble was on desk and training duty. He sighed as he laid his head down on his desk. He had been injured in his last mission. It got him thinking that maybe it was time to leave the Navy. He wasn’t getting younger and the life was becoming monotonous. He always figured he would go down in a glorious ball of fire as he defended his nation. But it seemed that was not going to happen. Once one is put on training duty, they tend to stay on training duty. To tell the truth he was bored and his life had become so routine that he was just going through the motions and generally was in a spaced out daze as he went through his day. Could he continue to do this until retirement? He was starting to think he couldn’t. But all he knew was the Navy since he blew out his knee at the start of his freshman year in college. He had quit school ad joined the Navy, getting a BA degree through the years, but he had stayed in the Navy. They trained him and he was highly skilled. He was a technical expert; he actually was a knives and sword expert as well. There wasn’t a knife or sword out there that he couldn’t figure out how to use, and use well. Not that people used swords in this day and age, but knives were still very important. There was a section in his training about knives. The newbies moaned about it until a damn knife saved their lives. He remembered the first time he held a knife. His father had given him a pocket knife and told him someday it would save his life. Someday that knife would be all that stood between his last breath and meeting his maker. George took that to heart. He learned everything he could about knives, and moved into swords. And his father was right. Many times in the course of his career one of his knives had been the difference between going to his final judgment and taking his next breath. But now wasn’t the time to get caught in his memories, he had a whole new set of trainees and he had to go test them. If only he had something he could go into if he left the Navy. But, again the Navy and being a military man was all he knew since he was eighteen years old. George lifted his head and groaned as he looked down at his schedule. Today was going to be a helluva day. He stood and grabbed his jacket and walked out of the office and towards the trainees.
Abby was frowning. The best choice for a Protector was on a protected base. She sighed. She hadn’t known he was a lifer. They tend to stay and decline a spot. She hoped that with Joseph and Dean she could convince George to come. She flipped her hand and showed the guard a badge that would get her into the place. She smiled sweetly when Dean glared at her and Joseph was interested in how she made the fake. It didn’t take them long to get to George’s office. They were advised to sit and wait. George would be back shortly. Abby got up and went to the corner to start making some calls.
George came back to the office to find a few people waiting for him. One was on the phone and she did not seem very happy. The other two looked bored. One was flipping through a book the other was on his phone. “May I help you?”
Dean stood up. “Finally! Always waiting on the damn sailor boys!”
George raised an eyebrow. “A Jarhead?”
“And proud to be one Squid.” Dean smirked.
“What does a Jarhead and his group want with me?”
“Abs!” Dean yelled. “The Squid is here!”
Abby turned and glared and held up one finger. She mouthed “Important!” She turned back around ignoring the three men.
Joseph flicked his eyes around. “So where are you from originally?”
George raised an eyebrow. “Little Rock, Arkansas. You?”
“New York City.” Joseph answered.
“Right outside of Central Point, Iowa myself.” Dean stated looking proud.
“Iowa, huh? Idiots Out Wondering Around?”
Dean shrugged and without missing a beat he came back at George. “Well, at least we have evolved beyond cow tipping and marrying our cousins.”
Joseph stared wide eyed. Damn, the Marine and the Seal are going to kill each other; and they were going to take him out in the cross fire. He moved closer to Abby; fearing the end was near.
George looked at Dean and then started laughing. “Oh God, that was great! Nice to meet you; I am Chief Warrant Officer George Noble.” He held out his hand.
Dean took his hand and smiled. “Nice to meet ya Chief. I am Corporal Dean Cooper. That is Joseph McKinley, and the woman yelling curse words into her phone is Abigail Elyondottir.”
“Okay, how can I help you all?”
“Well, you see we are on a mission from God.” Dean smirked.
Abby came back then and slapped him upside his head. “Behave Dean! You are going to make us sound like a bunch of crazy people.”
“Well, you did admit to my brother you were not quite all there.” Dean smirked.
Abby sighed. “May we speak to you privately Chief Noble?”
“Sure.” George was curious after all, a smart-aleck Marine and New Yorker that seemed a bit off, and a woman who, well to be honest had this aura around her of adventure. After they were in his office and seated he looked to Abby. She seemed to be the leader after all. “Well, what is all this about?”
Abby gave a weak smile. “Okay, so there is magic in the world. Ley lines, and because of this many items throughout the world have been imbued with magic, but in the wrong hands it can cause the end of the world. Mostly because I will end it before I see it destroyed.”
George looked at her. “Okay, magic is real, and how does this affect me?”
“Well, you see…” Abby explained Keepers and then she went on to Protectors. “You see, though some of the Keepers, like Dean here, can more than take care of themselves, we still need Protectors. Not only to protect the Keepers and Guides but to protect the catacombs and mines themselves. And no they are not just hired muscle. Protectors are just as important as the Keepers and Guides. Perhaps more so; yes generally speaking the Keepers are the ones that follow the clues to the item that is being retrieved or working towards something and the Protectors are there to make sure they aren’t shot or stabbed or well, killed. The reason for that is very simple, most of the time a Keepers mind goes a billion miles a minute. They are sorting good information from bad information to find the next step. Because of that they are vulnerable and not aware of their surroundings. So I need the Protectors, whose minds are very detailed oriented on the surroundings to make sure the Keepers and the Protectors make it out of the mission alive.”
George nodded. “Makes sense. But again why me?”
“You see, as the creator I see every life force; because of that I can make a list of those who have the abilities to be a Keeper, Protector or Guide. You would make a very good Protector. And I am here to offer you that spot as a Protector. Save the World; protect it, and have a grand adventure while you are doing so.” Abby smiled.
“What do you mean save the world?” George asked.
Dean smirked and Joseph gave a grin. “Told you to start with the reason why you need to get newbies!” Dean stated and hi-fived Joseph. They were right.
Abby turned and glared at them. “Okay, so all my other Keepers, Protectors and Guides were murdered. We were betrayed. To prevent The Sisters of Lilith from getting control over the catacombs and mines I shut them down. The issue is if they aren’t opened soon they will implode and destroy the Earth. But I can’t open them until I have a new time.”
“And who are The Sisters of Lilith?” George asked.
“Lilith, if you know anything in the bible, was Adam’s first wife. We created that first woman who would become the first demon. She was wanted magic into the world to enslave the mortals. What many don’t know is that Lilith and Adam had a daughter. Lilith took the daughter and trained her. Lilith was the first enemy of my first Keepers; mostly because she was a demon by that point. My brothers had abandoned our creation; I was alone, but for my mortals, and I had just given Earth magic. The leadership has been passed down mother to daughter since and always female. They only have males for breeding purposes to be honest. They generally kill them after they have a daughter. If they have a son they raise him to be a husband to a sister. They are a very radical group hell bent on giving mortals magic. But we, meaning my brothers and I, didn’t create mortals to be able to withstand the power of pure magic flowing through their bodies. Magic would kill all the mortals. Basically their goal is to enslave humanity.” Abby explained.
George looked at Abby. “Okay…” He took a breath. He sat back. “So this is basically a job offer? You come poaching from the Military?”
Abby chuckled. “No, I don’t poach only from the military. It is all based upon your soul Chief. And you, contrary to your beliefs, have a good soul.”
“No matter the red dripping from my ledger?”
“Everybody has red Chief. Think of the amount of red in my own? I can’t interfere with Death. When we created this realm for our father’s approval, there were three brothers full of goodness, life, kindness, all that is light in the world. There were also three brothers full of evil, death, hate and all that is dark in the world. So each created an entity that would not, could not, be interfered with; Life and Death. Life and Death are cousins so to say. I can heal someone; I can even bring someone back from the brink of death if it is not their time. But if it is there time…” She shrugged before continuing. “There is nothing I can do. The same life. Though I helped create the souls in realm, I have no control over which are brought to life. That is life’s choice. And some are reincarnated many, many times, and others are sent right to their punishment or reward. There is not only heaven and hell, but purgatory. Purgatory is where your soul sits and waits its judgment. Their souls are held in limbo and frozen until their life is viewed by Life and Death. They make the choice then of punishment, reward, or a do over. That is all reincarnation really is, is a do-over.” Abby explained.
George nodded. “So we get paid and benefits?”
Abby nodded. “Of course, I wouldn’t just rip you from your life like that; money and benefits are included as well as accommodations while traveling. You would mostly live at base.”
George sat back and pondered this for a moment. It would get him out of the Navy. It was similar enough that it wouldn’t cause that much havoc upon his life. “How much?”
Abby raised an eyebrow. “A special bank account is set up in each name, at the beginning of each month one hundred thousand dollars is deposited into that account. There is also another account set up and credit cards given for all expenses while on duty, so to say. Travel expenses for business or food while on business, etcetera would come from this joint account.” Abby explained. “As well as all doctor, dental, vision expenses; also each person has a hundred million dollar life insurance policy where they will need to name a benefactor.” She finished.
Dean and Joseph looked floored and George looked at them. “You didn’t ask?”
“Honestly saving the world sounded a lot more fun than tending the farm.” Dean stated.
Joseph shrugged. “She saved my kid. She could have asked for my soul and I would have willingly given it to her.”
George nodded. “Well, I got those answers for us. So when do I start?”
Abby smirked. She picked up the phone. “I need a transfer of one Chief Warrant Officer George Noble to my unit.” There was a pause and George’s fax machine came to life.
George picked up. ‘Effective immediately you have been reassigned and shall answer to only to the President. Your orders are to go with Miss Abigail and your new title is Protector.’ George looked up and held the paper. “Explain.”
“You see I couldn’t get away with a lot of the things I have to get away if the governments didn’t know about me. The President, Dictator, Prime Minster, Emperor, etcetera, they all know about me. They are bound by oaths not to say anything. The magic of that oath would kill them if broke it. I mean a lot of my Keepers and Protectors and even Guides have been in the military. Of course, I don’t get a lot of lifers, most inactive. So, a call, a reassignment, and poof!”
George nodded. “Thank you.” He stated.
Dean smirked. “Go pack! And we get to go on the next step! As soon as we have everybody we are opening the catacombs and mines! I can’t wait! All that knowledge!”
George laughed. “Give me a half hour and I will meet you out front.”
Abby nodded. “Let’s go boys!” She pushed Dean and Joseph out the door, leaving George to pack up.
George sat there for a moment. He blinked a few times. Had that just happened? Had that really just happened? His creator he had been avoiding like the plague since he joined the Navy just came to him to help save the Earth? To save this realm? He swallowed. Could he do it without failing? But it was the adventure he craved. And if he was going to go down… well, he would just have to go down in a fiery blaze of glory! George stood and went to his barracks. He had everything packed within those thirty minutes. Being a lifer he learned to not be attached to material items, especially when he was often deployed overseas. He walked out of the barracks and saw them standing next to an SUV. “I am so driving!” He yelled.
Dean looked put out! “What? No! Your Squid ass is going to kill us all!”
“Oh and a Jarhead behind the wheel is so safe isn’t it?” George stated.
Joseph looked wide-eyed. “Oh, no!” He took a dive into the SUV and opened he wasn’t hit in the cross fire.
Abby rolled her eyes and got in the SUV. “I am driving. Now get your asses in the vehicle!”
Dean and George both looked at each other and shrugged. They both got in the vehicle and waited. “Well? Where are we going?” George asked.
Abby smirked. “Time to get another Keeper. August Shepherd, 19: Cambridge, Massachusetts.”