3 stories, one book. In each story, an authoritarian government seeks to expand its control. Each does it in different ways.
Saber is a time operative who affects events in the past to ensure his government's survival. His latest mission, time travel to one week before the apocalypse. As is the case with any operative's mission, things are not what they seem.
In Angel in the Apocalypse, Angel is a young boy with apocalyptic dreams. After a coup, he goes on the run until the government finds him. Are his dreams a sign things to come?
Gerard 1625 lives in a typical Orwellian world. His government monitors his every move, and he lives a life of conformity. He does exactly what he is told to do...until a fugitive seeks him out. The penalty for helping him: the eradication of his entire family lineage. Why risk it? What does this fugitive have to offer?
Angel in the Apocalypse
“Time to run,” Angel told himself. He ran as fast as his 7-year-old legs carried him. If he had looked back, he would have seen military units drive into the village he spent the night at. They conscripted the men and took everyone else as prisoners.
Angel ran fas he had every day since he could remember. At first, he ran because he competed in school. He enjoyed running and competing against other kids. The day he turned six, he had a dream. In it, a being told him he needed to run and pray every day. “Who is this?” he asked the being in the dream.
“Michael. I will keep you safe.”
After that day, Angel did two things. He prayed the Chaplet of Devine Mercy and ran. He often did both at the same time. He started to win contests at school and made his parents proud. They kept buying his shoes so he could keep running. His abuela made him a Chaplet by tying knots in a rope. Angel carried with him every day.
Shortly after he turned seven, the Principal made an announcement at school. There had been an attack, someone killed the President. The military enacted martial law and there would be a curfew. All children would need to head directly home and wait for further instruction.
“What do I do?” Angel asked in a prayer. He believed Michael communicated with him in his dreams and would keep him safe. Since his first dream, he walked with a being who carried a sword. He knew it was Michael. Michael showed him images of an older version of himself. In the Angel gave speeches and lead people. He didn’t understand it but knew it meant God looked after him.
When everyone left his school, Angel knew where to go. He visited the place many times in his dreams. He also trained for this moment since he turned six. He felt confident but sad. He most likely would never see his family again. His dreams matured him. Although he didn’t understand the forces at work, he knew he was part of a bigger picture. It didn’t make him arrogant, it made him determined. It gave him a sense of destiny.
Since the day the school closed, the world descended into chaos. Angel went from settlement to settlement. Each place he visited, he talked about how Michael visited him in his dreams. Sometimes people would ask him to bless their children, but he always declined. He told them to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. That always gave people hope. When he told them he walked to each settlement, people found shoes for him. He never went barefoot. They also took him in for as long as he wanted. They gave him what food they had, and what water they could find. He gave them hope and in return, they gave him whatever he needed.
Sometimes settlements hid a priest, and they would visit with each other. The priest always started by giving Angel a blessing, and then heard his confession. Then they talked about Angel’s dreams. They talked about what each one meant, cognizant of Angel’s age. Each one would tutor him to make up for his lack of schooling. They recognized Angel was young and had a long way to go. They also knew he had a great destiny and was likely humanity’s last hope.
Angel told a priest that he missed his abuela’s cooking. Growing up, he never went without pan de huevos, conchas, gingerbread, and other treats. His abuela made sure of that. She could have opened a bakery. Like most abuela’s she wanted to make sure her family ate good food. That’s what brought her joy, and she loved to spoil angel with sweet bread.
Sometimes the family’s that took him in prepared their version of albondigas. He accepted it graciously and devoured whatever they gave him. Still, it made him sad to think that he would never have his abuela’s albondigas again. He told a priest this. The priest explained that Angel could ask his abuela to pray for him even though she was in heaven. She still watched over him and helped to keep him safe. This made sense to Angel because his abuela was very loving. He knew she made it to heaven. The priest also said that eating something his abuela used to make could be a sign of a blessing. It could be proof that his grandmother still had an effect on his life here on earth.
Since that conversation, Angel looked for other signs. He still had his rope that his abuela made him. He felt like it would last forever. People always seemed to have shoes; he started to take shoes for granted. When he did find someone who had pan de dulce, he knew his abuela played some kind of role in it. Instead of feeling sad, these occurrences gave him comfort. “Thank you, abuela,” he would tell himself. One day he might meet his abuela in heaven. Until then, he had work to do here on earth.
Angel awoke one night. He remembered his dream, and it wasn’t good. In it, a giant fireball consumed the sky. It towered over the landscape. He saw people instantly vanish in its wake. An entire city disintegrated. The next night, he visited another city in his dream. The same thing happened. This time he saw people outside of the town wearing protective eye-ware. They watched the fireball engulf the city. A siren would go off, and then everything in the city ignited. The fireball leveled buildings. Some people didn’t notice the blast, but it still consumed them. Other tried to run, but it instantly overcame them. It even caught the military standing guard in the city. No one escaped its blast.
Angel didn’t stay more than a night in any settlement. He didn’t feel comfortable anywhere. He thought about his family. Had that happened to them? He didn’t know for sure. How long had these fireballs been destroying cities? He felt his dreams seemed to depict something real. That, or something that is going to happen. The dreams didn’t stop, and it made the feeling worse.
He finally met a priest in a settlement. As Angel told the priest about the reoccurring dreams, the priest looked somber. “Father, what does it mean?” he asked the priest.
“It sounds like an atomic bomb,” the priest said.
“What is that?” Angel asked.
“It is a bomb with great destructive force. One atomic bomb can destroy an entire city. People believe the government has been using them, but no one knows for sure. We don’t know if they will use them in the future. That’s why so many people have moved to the country to settle.”
“I thought people were fleeing the military,” Angel seemed worried.