And from thence I went towards the west to the ends of the earth, and saw there three portals of the heaven open such as I had seen in the east, the same number of portals, and the same number of outlets.†††
Germany lay beneath his feet, divided as ever. It reminded him of Egypt, upper and lower, though the reason behind that thought eluded him completely. The dark gray film that had been casting everything he saw into shadow melted away slowly. But it did so only to give way to a dull orange, like a sullen, dying ember; an eclipse.
The only constant thing was the torrent of whispers in his ears, clear enough to catch his attention, but never comprehensible.
The sun hung in the dark sky for a few heartbeats, then it sank into the horizon. It rose, it sank; seven did it do so. When it rose once again for the eighth time, he was no longer in Germany. Dust swirled up lazily from the roads of Italy, and the air in Rome seemed choked with the stuff.
The streets were empty, there was no sign of life in the city of Rome, yet he could hear people talking, glasses chinking, the bleating of an ambulance, and birds chirping. It was as though things were as they were before.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder, but when he turned, there was no one. His other senses insisted that there was someone else there with him, nevertheless. So he walked on, his bare feet leaving no traces behind him.
As he came closer to what was almost the centre of Rome, the sounds became less and less distinct. Just when he was about to set foot in the Pantheon, a powerful shock rolled through the ground. He watched the ground churn impassively, even when the buildings began to crumble. Rocks and rubble shifted and rolled towards the centre of the Pantheon, where a dark figure stood unmoving. The ground gave way under the figure, and a yawning portal between Hell––or was it Heaven?––and Earth opened wide.
In the way many dreamers do, he missed how illogical everything was.
The sky above opened in response, and Earth was briefly as bright as Heaven. Winged beings started to appear everywhere, some shining and bright, others veiled and dull. Little else appeared different. They looked the same in every other aspect.
Where the hole in the ground opened, an enormous cross started to burn. Soon, the bright seal looked as if it were spitting intense tongues of white fire. It was then that sound returned in an overwhelming rush: screaming voices, all raised in a cacophony of pain, anguish, anger, incredulity and a myriad of other emotions.
He found himself bringing his hands up to clap them around his ears.
The Voice of God blasted through him with such ferocity that he lost all his senses to it.
Reality finally reasserted itself in the form of a deep ache that seemed to be wrapped all around him like a suffocating blanket.
Choking on urgency and the need to obey His command, Metatron spent only a fraction of a second to figure out where he was, before he flew into motion. Out came the IVs, and then there were the little sensors that set the machines around him a-beeping as soon as he ripped them off his person. Once or twice, he narrowly missed knocking something over.
Metatron only noticed the other person in the room when he started to change. His hands paused on the ties at the back of the hospital gown he had been dressed in and feel to his sides as he turned to see who it was.
Limpid eyes stared back at him, peering from the edge of his hospital bed. The skeletal little girl gave him a bright, sunny smile, "Matthias isn't broken anymore?" A trace of confusion made her frown comically, summoning a pout, "They lied. They said Matthias might not wake up."
Metatron relaxed visibly, though he still looked a little harried. With an armful of his ruined clothes, he padded over to the little girl and patted her lightly on the head, "God is calling me." He regarded her for a moment, his eyes opaque, "He'll call you soon."
The little girl looked up at him solemnly, as she waved a farewell to him, "I know." That was probably what Metatron loved most about human children––they needed no lengthy explanation, no empirical proof. They simply believed.
Three weeks. Three weeks?!
Metatron looked at his watch for the umpteenth time as he waited in the airport.
An uncomprehending doctor, a few surprised nurses, and a handful of semi-joyful children later, Metatron was on his own again. The first had told him that it was a miracle that he had sustained nothing more than a concussion, numerous lacerations, cuts and a lot of bruising. Oh, and he had been comatose for three weeks, so he should be careful.
A quick visit to his empty and sterile little apartment had been made so that he could take a quick shower and pack a few necessary things. A chance glimpse at the fogged up mirror had shown a spectacular riot of colour on the right side of his face, accented here and there with healed over scabs. The same applied to his right arm and shoulder. Looking at them had made the ache worse, somehow.
After that, he had bought a ticket for the earliest flight out of Frankfurt to Rome. It was a stroke of pure luck that that flight was in a few hours. Luck does not exist. He's calling.
A half an hour more of Metatron pacing restlessly, drawing distantly curious looks from an elderly couple, and he boarded the plane. The screams still ringing like weak wraiths in his ears kept him up throughout the flight. Awake, he could not suppress the wave of horror at the thought so many of His beloved humans dying.
Upon reaching Rome, the first place he visited was what remained of the Pantheon. Metatron's face was drained of all colour as he surveyed the massive destruction there.
The first part right up there is from the Book of Enoch.
( About what Metatron heard...Collapse )