Home      Seducing the Angel from Purgatory
Essie was a pilot, flying missions against insurgents in the desert. She was efficient and beautiful, and the object of desire of every young man. She never made mistakes. Never. Except… just once, on her last mission before leaving for a new job at NASA, and it was a fatal mistake.
She kept the presence of mind to eject just in time, but then there was the insurgent with a rifle, a white flash, and then…

She was certain she was dead. There was nothing but coldness and darkness and… What was the strange creature there with her? A demon? Some sort of temptation? Some sort of test? She must be in Purgatory; there was no other explanation. And yet…

How was Essie to know that far across the Galaxy from where she made the mistake that finished her life on Earth, someone had a vision of her, a vision that had snatched her away from near-certain death? How could she possibly realize that her destiny was with a winged warrior who had waited for so long on a troubled planet of snow and crystal? How could she know that so many needed to find her, to rescue her from the darkness of the remote planet in the Dead Zone? There was no way she could be aware of her importance, or of the importance of the tiny shard of crystal in the locket around her neck. Most of all, how could she possibly know of the love that awaited her, or how she and so many others would have to fight to save so much?

Ninth Realm – The Darkness and the Light 

Behind his back, they called him Demon.  He enjoyed the terror his presence provoked.  At six foot eight, he was only a few inches taller than average.  It was not his size that set the Magistrate apart. It was his enjoyment of darker punishment… humiliation, degradation and pain.  Yes, there was always pain, but he was bored with it.  Ah, but the anticipation of debasing prisoners to such an extreme that they cringed from their own reflection?  The thought of their anguish shone through his pitch eyes as nelam sparks set against black glass, surrounded by the glossy curtain of his raven hair.  Harsh cruelty strengthened his body, chiseled his features, and added luster to the ten foot span of his ebony feathered wings.
Screams nourished him. Tears quenched his thirst… and this kept him focused.

It was no secret the Demon Magistrate was the power behind the throne, ruthlessly and sadistically enforcing edicts the palace guards suspected he coerced their ruler to sign. Gripped by the insanity of his lascivious ways, their King had gone quite insane nepits ago.  The citizens feared the Magistrate, but they were well aware that without his forceful judgment, Vulturia would have been abandoned by the light worlds and left to sink into darkness.

The guard straightened at the sound of footsteps echoing down the dungeon hall, his stomach knotting as they grew closer.  They had fucked up.  For two days they left the prisoner hanging while the guard rotation gawked at her, not knowing what she represented but fascinated by her appearance.  Most of them had never seen one before, and in a world where any sexual fantasy was easily fulfilled, she was something new. He had spent an hour staring at the unconscious woman himself, before finally regaining his senses and disengaging thoughts of ramming his cock into her.

He had forced himself to return to position, locking the cell door.  Now he could barely remember what she looked like, but he could still feel her power trying to suck him in.  It had been he who finally alerted the Magistrate… and he would be the one left to the Demon’s wrath for waiting too long.  The guard did not need to see through the inky blackness of the corridor to know whose footsteps they were.

Emerging from the shadows, the feeble light of the torch lit the Magistrate’s imposing figure.  His wings were extended, beating slowly in agitation.  The guard shrank back against the heavy wooden door when the Demon’s fist curled around his throat and lifted him off his feet.  “I was to be told when another one was captured.”

Petrified, the guard’s arms hung limp by his sides.  His balls crawled into his groin as he managed to gurgle, “She has only been here a day and it took time for the liquor to wear off so we were sure.”  He regretted the lie as soon as he said it.

The Magistrate dropped the guard onto unsteady feet.  His eyes reflected the light from the torch… twin flames flickering in black mirrors and sealing the guard’s lips in terror.  “Alcohol does not hide the signs.  You have been warned they are creatures of seduction.”

The guard nodded, attempting to find his voice.  “It… it was difficult to see beyond her depravity.  I did contact you as soon as I regained my senses.”  This much was true, and he hoped it was enough to pacify the Demon and allow his testicles to loosen from the stones they had become and descend.  Fumbling with the key, his shaking hand unlocked the cell door.  The guard stood back while the Magistrate retracted his wings to enter.

“I am not to be disturbed,” he growled, slamming the door behind him.
* * *
She was falling through the sky… faster… faster.  The freezing air burned with a billion tiny prickles of ice slivers piercing her cheeks as she passed through the clouds. Then, she stopped.  Hanging in mid-air with the sun reflecting off the frozen land below, sharing only its light… no warmth.  And she was still hanging… in mid-air.  And there was a danger so real that the chill of it passed through her skin, her bones, and her center, as easily as she had passed through the clouds.

She was not alone, though.  He was there with her.  Beside her. But he could not see her… and she began falling again.

But she had seen him.  Before she fell away, she had looked at his face, had seen the indigo eyes ringed with gold staring fiercely upwards towards the skies and his strong jaw set with determination.  His bared, bronzed chest reflected the light from the brilliance of the ice pillars surrounding him, muscles taut as he gripped a silver sword in his raised fist. And his thighs… oh, god.  His thighs were so strong, with one leg bent slightly at the knee and the other straight, ready to run into battle.

Not run.  No, that wasn’t right.  For behind him, his long platinum hair wavered in the wind brushing against his wings. He was high in the clouds… an awesome winged avenging angel.  A warrior of the light.

The man looked down, searching through the dusting of clouds and across a frozen landscape of ice and snow until his dark blue eyes seemed to reach inside her, searching for her soul.  Panic filled her as she realized she had been seen.  “Come to me.”  His voice was a fading deep echo.
* * *

Flying in formation over the desert, Essie scanned her briefing notes for the targets she had memorized.  Things had calmed down for the past month, so this radical attack from insurgents was a bit unexpected.  They had waited until the troops settled in, bringing in supplies and more soldiers. The enemy kept their camp several miles south and attacked in small, erratic bursts.  The jets neared the destination, and while her comrades flew to aid in another kicked-up skirmish, Essie dashed past to the insurgents’ home base. Blow the suckers up, or they’ll just keep coming.

These were not her exact orders.  They were told to offer support.  Essie decided it was her last mission and she would go out in style.  Instead, she went out with a bang.

She began firing, leaving a trail of dust bunnies on the desert floor where her ammo struck.  It also gave the enemy plenty of time to line her in their sites.  Too late, she realized she had made a most basic, elementary error.  Just because the Intel reports did not say the insurgents had capability to down a jet, did not mean they did not have it.  Their weapon sighting on their RPG was skewed and the strike left Essie the precious second she needed to eject.  The enemy kept firing, and fifty feet from the ground a hit landed on its mark, shredding her parachute.

Essie scrambled into position for a rough landing.  She was aware of the heavy thud of her body when she hit the ground, and then darkness. She figured she had only been out for a few seconds when she felt something jab her in the sides.  Without moving, Essie tried to take stock of injuries. Remarkably, she felt slight stiffness and what were sure to be bruises, but she did not think anything was broken. Enemy territory.  Her mind reached for the training she had learned through SERE: ‘Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape’, the protocol she hoped she would never have to initiate.

Essie’s hand reached to lift her face shield and she opened her eyes.  The bright desert sun was high overhead and she saw the shadowed silhouettes of three men.  One of the insurgents aimed his rifle at her, moving the barrel closer until it was a few inches from her face.  Essie’s mouth went dry and her eyes focused on the finger wrapped over the trigger. It was pulling back.  Oh, shit…  A brilliant flash of light exploded.  

* * *  

It was cold… and dark. Very dark, considering she had just been looking up into the desert sun.  Instinctively, Essie reached to lift her face shield, and then realized her helmet was gone.  Something seemed definitely off, but as her eyes adjusted, Essie thought she could make out the jagged edges of cliffs in the shadows.  Somehow, they did not look like the insurgents’ stronghold, and she realized the ground beneath her felt packed and not like the loose desert sand she remembered from… from before I was shot and I died.  Oh, shit!

Essie managed to sit and eventually make it onto shaky legs.  She was more angry than afraid.  A part of her hoped she had just scrambled her brains after ejecting. Maybe, she was in a hospital and all this was some crazy dream.  Reluctantly dismissing the thought, even though this place felt like a vacuum, she knew it was real.  She was awake, or as awake as she could be now that she was dead.  Great. My last mission and I went and got myself killed.

As she searched around, she realized all the hard work and dreams of space were washed down the drain. “Dammit,” she muttered, kicking a pebble across the dirt.  It rolled several feet and disappeared in the darkness.  Her eyes flashed with green rage, but there was no one to focus her anger on.  Essie could not remember ever being so pissed off, and it was her own damn fault. After several more minutes, frustration seeped into her emotions, mixing with the anger.

Essie stopped and inhaled slowly, shaking her hands out to the sides and trying to calm herself.  At least she wasn’t stuck floating over her body and watching her blown-up brains leak out of her skull.  Dammit. Guess it’ll be a closed casket.

Getting herself all worked up would not solve anything.  She just wanted to get it over with, and she called into the shadows, “Okay.  So where’s the fucking bright light or tunnel or whatever?”

As her eyes grew accustomed to the shadows, she saw a small break in the darkness by the cliffs.  She spun slowly, searching for the bright effervescence that would lead her to heaven and maybe her mom.  It seemed no one was going to meet her to walk her ‘home’. “Flames it is,” Essie sighed, and began the walk towards the cliffs.

Even after scanning scriptures as a child, Essie sort of figured that dead was dead.  Winding up in this place threw her for a loop. Although religious eternal placement seemed unlikely, she could not fathom another reason for finding herself dead and walking an empty landscape.  It seemed ironic to her that she insisted on reaching for scriptures, and in her mind she searched the battered, black covered Bible for the passages that would give her the proper intel for this mission.  Distracted from her frustrating quest, the words written in her mind blurred as her chest tickled and itched a little where the gem on her necklace lay just above her breasts.  Well, shit.  Looks like I won’t be passing it on to anyone.

Essie continued walking, searching for a light or a tunnel or some sign of where she was supposed to go next.  She felt an unfamiliar surge of panic begin to build as she walked through the silent shadows.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… She could not remember the rest.  Movies always seemed to fade out after that part.  Besides, she was not completely certain she was not fearing evil. The bleak place around her was pretty damn creepy.  Suddenly, now that she was dead, she found herself becoming extremely religious.  She wished she had paid more attention to the passages.  It was the only protocol she could reach for to initiate, and her Officer training demanded some sort of appropriate response.

Through flight school, Essie decided the rules were meant to keep her mind clear and focused during a possible stressful encounter.  Shit.  Talk about stressful encounter.  Her SERE training did not seem to fit the situation of being dead and wandering a dark, desolate landscape.  Survival was questionable.  She was already dead.  There were no enemies to evade or resist.  Escape seemed remote, unless she could find the light.  What the fuck am I supposed to do?

After a few minutes of reviewing what Sunday morning scriptures she could remember, she announced to the empty landscape, “I’m in Purgatory.”  She spun and searched the gray horizon for a sign of confirmation to her discovery, and then continued walking towards the cliffs.  “I mean, I didn’t screw up so badly as to go to Hell.” I hope.  She remembered the missions she flew, protecting the troops and blowing up insurgent strongholds.  “But they were bad guys.”  Essie glanced up.  “Really.” 
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