*Continued from Exodus Lost and The Man in the Fedora
"Talbot, you okay?" McGonigal looks worried. Terrified, even.
Talbot leans against the wall, arm wrapped defensively around his abdomen. He nods. The lie doesn't convince either man.
"Let me see."
Talbot allows McGonigal to move his arm. McGonigal gently palpates the stomach. Distended. And something feels ruptured. Not good.
"Tell me about it," Talbot manages, laughing a little.
"What do you want me to do?" There's no medic around. Hell, there's nobody around but McGonigal, Talbot, and the man the two are trying to kill.
"Kill the son of a bitch."
McGonigal smiles. He can't help it. The whole world's upside down and things have been rather funny lately. "That's blasphemy, Talbot."
"Yeah?" Talbot nods behind McGonigal. The Son approaches. "So's he."
McGonigal pulls out his sidearm and fires rapidly at his enemy. He hits him at least four times, but The Son doesn't go down. Nor even seems wounded.
"You got any advice?" McGonigal asks Talbot.
"Watch his right hook. It's a killer."
The Adversary smiles, lost in the irony happening on the field of battle. They have devolved to not only using men as soldiers in their war, but to using the tactics of men. Then again, it is those men who managed to dictate the necessity for those tactics. Not bad for cockroaches, eh?
Across the field, hidden from view, Fedora frowns. A delay of the inevitable.
The Adversary laughs and repeats his thought. The change in meaning is clear. And a threat. Not bad for cockroaches, eh? Still, The Adversary knows the appearance of The Son can change this impending battle for the worse. He's actually slightly surprised that Talbot and McGonigal have managed to hold out for this long. Again, he repeats the thought, but only to himself. Not bad for cockroaches, indeed.
Miasnikov surveys the field, satisfied at the emplaced defenses while fully aware of their futility. It is a satisfaction borne of being an engineer by trade, however, and so what if the enemy is capable of flying over them?
"Everything's ready," he says.
Cabrera brings him back to down to Earth, though he doesn't mean to. "Whoopedy-fucking-do."
Miasnikov smirks, knowing Cabrera's reaction beforehand. "Gabriel and Raphael platoons in place?"
Miasnikov turns and gestures impatiently. "Call them and find out."
To his credit, Cabrera avoids another smart-ass comment and keys the microphone. "Gabe-six-actual, Mike-three-three, over."
"Go ahead, Mike-three-three."
"Everyone in place?"
There is a laugh over the radio. "As if it matters."
McGonigal fires the rest of his magazine, less to wound their opponent and more to provide enough distraction for Talbot to crawl to a better hiding place. The Liverpool Cathedral is a massive structure and as long as Talbot can stay out of sight, he has a chance. McGonigal briefly wonders why The Son chose this place to appear and hopes the Anglicans don't mind too much that a couple of Catholic mercenaries are in the process of shooting it to bits.
Then again, McGonigal doesn't really care. The desire to live tends to shut off most other concerns.
The Son speaks. Not in a deafening tone, but in a pleading, almost confused one. In Aramaic.
"English, please, if you don't mind," McGonigal whispers, the result of tactical habit. It's a pointless caution, McGonigal knows, since The Son has already exhibited the ability to hear any volume of speech. The guy needs a cape. McGonigal's chuckle at the thought is not as quiet.
"Why do you resist? Is this not part of the prophecies?"
Well, yeah, sort of. Though McGonigal admits to himself that he's not exactly memorized the Book of Revelations. He shakes the thought, trying to keep himself in the game. How much time did Satan say he needed?
Oh, the irony.
McGonigal glances around quickly, knowing he has to change positions soon. As if a monster in a bad horror film, The Son seems to dislike running, which gives them a chance. But his ability to jump long distances makes it a requirement to keep objects between them. Thankfully, he hears the charge of a submachine gun click and slide, and knows Talbot has managed to find his weapon. He'll have cover in a moment.
He barely registers the burst of 10mm ammunition before he takes off running.
This is angel versus angel, you know. Your cockroaches will add little value to the equation. Fedora's statement is blunt. He's never left his hatred of man a secret.
The Adversary checks his lines, nodding to angel and man alike, pleased with each of their contributions. They've already done their part, you fool. Let's get this over with.
Before Fedora can respond, The Adversary signals to Gabriel - the Gabriel - and a trumpet blares. People for hundreds of miles in all directions hear a thunderbolt the likes they've never imagined.
Holy fire and metal bullets begin their blazing paths across the German landscape.
The Adversary hands the roll of field general to Michael, the better suited for tactical leadership. His ears catch one of Cabrera's remarks, forcing an all-too-human laugh that fosters an all-too-human sense of embarrassment.
"Bless me Father, for I love to sin!"
The Adversary makes a note to inform Cabrera later, should Cabrera survive, that The Father is not listening today. This is a war of children, and of children alone. What's left of the Garden is about to be burned to the ground. The roots of the Tree of Conscience irreparably scarred with fire and blood. Whatever the outcome, mankind will forever be left to its own devices.