The Shadows | Chapter 20 of 34 - Part: 1 of 6

Author: L.A. Banks | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1439 Views | Add a Review

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Carlos glanced around the small courtyard behind the centuries-old Catholic church that had been taken over by a new denomination. He hated moving the team like this—just a wild-ass shot in the dark to land hard without a prior environmental sweep. But it was what it was. Time had run out.

His worst fears were realized. The rectory in the back was a host to occupied administrative offices; he could see church staff milling about behind the windows and could hear children in the basement . . . had to be a daycare center. Schools flanked the front of the church and the back of it, and his team was standing there looking like a guerrilla army, strapped to the nines with grenades, automatics, and a trunk of supplies.

“Anybody feeling like if we don’t take cover, in, say . . . maybe five minutes, popo is gonna be all over us?” Yonnie stashed his 9mm in the back of his sweatpants and then looked down at his bare feet. “And, bro, can we get some decent clothes? It was bad enough that the house burned to the ground with all my best Italian leathers in it, but I don’t go out in public like this. You know how we used to do the damned thing, homeboy.”

“Yonnie . . . man,” Jose said in a near growl, “chill. C is working on it. Ain’t you, C?”

“Yeah, I’m working on it,” Carlos said, glancing around. “Shit.”

Heather tossed Damali the divination necklace she’d lent the seers during their watch shifts. “Before some kids or civilians see us, ask Pearl.”

“I said I’m working on it,” Carlos muttered, taking offense.

“Well,” Rider said with a sarcastic sigh, “this is cozy, while we wait.” He nodded and began walking around the small courtyard looking for potential hiding places big enough for the entire team that were not to be found. “Our Lady Gates of Heaven—fitting for the last gate we’ll probably see this side of freedom the moment the cops get here. I don’t figure they’ll buy that we work for Homeland Security in these just-out-of-bed outfits toting heavy artillery—you think?”

“Rider, I’ve got a lot on my mind, man . . . you ain’t making my job any easier,” Carlos said in a low, threatening rumble. “So fall back and give me space to think.”

Rider’s gaze hardened to meet Carlos’s challenge. “I’m not into high fashion, but the whole look screams terrorists or drug gang to me. That’s the only reason I’m agreeing with Yolando here that time is of the essence—all right. So don’t get your boxers in a bunch.”

Carlos shot Damali a quick look that dared her to intervene. She rifled her fingers through her locks and walked away, scanning the area before she said anything irrevocable.

“What about the sanctuary?” Juanita offered, glancing at Carlos with empathy.

Carlos motioned toward the placard near the door with his chin. “We jettisoned out of San Diego at almost one in the afternoon . . . that means it’s near four, central time—and they have vespers prayer. Somebody will probably be in there setting up and we’ll give ’em a heart attack if we roll in there like this.”

“Garages,” Berkfield said with a quick nod. “You pull us some SWAT uniforms from the local precinct and let me be your lead bullshit talker. I know the police drill from my old days on the force. The rest of you just look mean and say nothing if we’re seen or stopped . . . but I know where Carlos is going with this thing—not around any kids. Can’t have a shoot-out here and we’ve gotta clear the area in case something is already tracking us.”

Damali nodded as she stared up at the vaulted archways that led from the rectory to the church. Adinkra symbols had been cut directly into the stones in the oddest of all places, a Catholic church, just as Marlene had said. “Yeah, Berkfield . . . good plan,” she said in a faraway voice. “We can change in the garages.”

She rubbed the surface of the pearl that was set in her platinum-collar necklace with the other six stones she’d collected during her awakening, feeling them heat in her hand. “What are you trying to tell me, Pearl?” she murmured to her oracle as the team trudged toward the bank of garages behind the courtyard.

“Look to the one-hundred-and-eight volumes of the Book of Enoch,” the pearl said quietly. “Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years old . . . his words were left out of the traditional Bible and were found by a Scotsman, James Bruce, who brought it back from Axum . . . Ethiopia, in the 1800s. These books were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. . . . The angel, Uriel, was his guide. . . . Follow Uriel, that angel’s name will shelter you while here in Detroit, Damali. . . . Ask Marlene to look up Genesis 5:21–24.”

The pearl fell silent as the group gathered in one of the church garages that didn’t have vehicles and storage boxes in it. Damali looked at Carlos.

“Okay, now that was the strangest divination Pearl has given me to date.”

“Sounds like girlfriend was speaking in code . . . put emphasis on the word Scotsman,” Carlos said, pulling in SWAT uniforms and hurriedly passing them around the team.

“Seal the area with prayer,” Damali whispered. She glanced at Carlos. “And silver-box it, too. We need to talk.”


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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