Words of the Prophet
The Angel's Knight #2 - Words of the Prophet
Los Angeles, October 14, 2017
"Angel, is that you?"
"Yes, Cordelia, I'm here. How are you feeling today?"
"Oh, you know! The usual. I think I picked up a few more things that might be of help to us. You still writing all this down?"
"This is like something out of a fantasy novel, you know? The wise woman sits in her room and spouts words of wisdom day and night, leaving it to the poor fellows around her to make sense of her ramblings and somehow discern the future from them. I'm not rambling, am I?"
"Not as such, Cordy, no. It's just sometimes a little hard to make sense of what you are saying."
"Tell me about it. I just wish the Powers would have had enough sense to supply an index with these things. Or at least some kind of schedule so I know where what fits and how. But I guess that would be expecting too much. Would make things much too easy for us good guys."
"Do you want something to drink before we start?"
"No! Angel? How long has this been going on now?"
"What? Your visions? Or just this latest string of them?"
"I know I've had these visions for the last eighteen years, Angel. But I'm afraid I kinda lost track of the nights and days lately. Is it night or day outside?"
"Yeah, might've figured that with you being awake and all. What day is it?"
"It's Saturday. For another ten minutes or so, at least."
"Wow! That makes this ... what? Seventeen nights in a row? Not to mention the days. I don't think I slept. I tried to, but I couldn't. There was always more to be seen. Was ... was someone here all the time? I think I might have said some things while I was asleep. If I was asleep."
"Someone was always here, Cordy. Either myself, Gunn, Fred, or Tara. We wrote everything down."
"Good! Good! I'm getting the feeling it's all going to fit together somehow. Like a puzzle, you know? They're giving me the pieces one at a time, but at the end it will make a full picture. I'm just not sure a picture of what. Have you guys managed to make any sense of it yet?"
"No, I'm afraid not."
"Too easy, right? My bet is we won't understand anything until the final piece is here. Whenever that will be. Maybe then ... do you think they'll let me sleep again? When all the pieces are there, I mean. Do you think I can rest then?"
"I hope so, Cordy."
"You know, I remember scolding you once about not telling me the truth, trying to coddle me up. Now I kinda miss it. There is a place for comforting lies, you know?"
"You threatened to put cinnamon in my blood again if I told you anything but the truth, remember?"
"Did I? Sometimes it's hard to ... Angel, it isn't just the days and nights I'm losing track of. I ...when these visions fill my head I can't tell ... it's not happening to me, is it? The things I see? They're not happening to me."
"No, they don't. You're safe here, Cordy. We're looking out for you."
"I can't tell sometimes. Where the visions end and my thoughts begin. Or is that the other way around?"
"Are you sure you are not cold? We turned up the heat in here, but you haven't worn any clothes in the last three weeks, Cordy. Aren't you cold?"
"I was hoping to get cold, actually, but I don't feel anything. Not hot, not cold, nothing. I just ... I can't stand the feel of clothes on my skin, Angel, not sure why. I mean, hey, who ever thought the day would come when I lost my interest in clothes, right? Still, it ... it almost hurts when there is something touching my skin." Pause. "You said you didn't mind. Me naked, I mean."
"I don't, Cordy, I'm just worried about you."
"You're sweet. And here I was hoping the sight of me naked was having some effect on you, at least. Not the perfectly happy kind of effect, you know, but a woman likes to know she's being appreciated once in a while."
"You are beautiful. Always have been."
"I think I remember that, yes. When I ... when I touch my face I think ... I don't have wrinkles, do I? I mean, I'm 36. That's not exactly old, but shouldn't I be getting my first wrinkles by now?"
"There isn't a wrinkle on you, Cordy. Trust me on this."
"That's just my point, Angel. I ... I haven't aged, have I? Since I got the visions, I mean. I was nineteen when I got them and I think I still look like nineteen, don't I?"
"You haven't aged a day."
"That's just what I feared. Well, there are worse things than being eternally nineteen, aren't there? Anyway, I think I saw a few more things. You got the pen ready?"
"Good. I saw a young girl. About seventeen, I think. Her name is ... it's strange. She does have a name, yet it does not ... fit to her. I can't really make sense of it, Angel. Her name is Diana, but I doubt she would turn her head if you called it out on the street. It's as if she has no connection to it."
"Where is this Diana? Does she need our help?"
"I don't know. They're not showing me that. It's like a jigsaw, Angel. Just pieces. I think Diana will to come us, but I'm not sure when. She hasn't already come, has she? Some of what they're showing me is from the past, I'm sure. Do we have a Diana here, Angel?"
"No, Cordy. I know of no Diana."
"Then she will come, I think. There is more. A statue. I'm not sure of what, but it's big. At least man-sized, maybe bigger. There is something draped across it."
"What kind of statue is it? Whom does it show?"
"I ... I think it's a cheerleader. Why are they showing me a statue of a cheerleader? Hmm, I kinda know that statue from somewhere, but I can't tell from where. It's as if I've seen it before. I don't recognize the surroundings, though. It's just ... wasteland. Nothing but bare ground and dust. There are people there. Quite a few people, all of them dressed in black robes. They're ... I think they're worshipping the statue."
"You said something is draped across the statue. Can you make out what it is?"
"It's ... ugh, it's skin, I think. Skin and bones. Like ... you know these mangled bodies they showed in those concentration camp documentaries? The ones they dug up?"
"I was there, Cordy. I didn't need to see any documentaries."
"Sorry, I forget. You're old as dirt. Anyway, that's what it looks like. A mangled, lifeless body draped across that golden cheerleader statue. One would think I'd be used to strange stuff like this by now."
"I saw Darla, Angel. Last night. Or last day, I guess. I've been seeing her a lot lately. Did I mention that before?"
"Yes, several times. You were never able to say where she was, though, or what she was doing."
"It's strange. I've been seeing her walking in the sunlight. That's impossible, isn't it? They made her a vampire again. She shouldn't be able to walk in the sunlight. And she hasn't aged, either, so she must still be a vampire, right?"
"She is a vampire, Cordy. I was close enough to be sure of that."
"Yeah, I remember. I saw that, too. They showed me that night in the motel when Lindsey forced you to watch as Drusilla turned her again. I'm sorry we didn't understand back then, Angel. How much that haunted you. How it changed you."
"It was a long time ago. Let's go on to what you've seen. What is Darla doing?"
"Maybe these are images of the past. She was human there for a while, maybe that is why she is walking in the sunlight. There is a girl with her, about the same age as Diana, maybe a year or so younger. I did mention Diana, didn't I?"
"She is with the girl a whole lot. Darla, I mean. Her name ... I can't see her name, but Darla ... Darla loves her, I think. I didn't know this hussy could love anyone, but she does. I can see it in her eyes."
"Who is this girl to her, Cordy? A lover?"
"No, not a lover. She is not a vampire, either. She ... she shouldn't be here. This is all wrong somehow. Impossible. Yet somehow she is here."
"I don't understand."
"I don't, either. It's not making any sense. I don't think it's supposed to. And Darla ... she is changed. She looks the same, but she isn't. I can't describe it, but there is something different about her. A bit like ... like the difference between you and Angelus, Angel."
"Has someone given her a soul?"
"No, it's not that. I'm sorry, Angel, I can't see any more."
"It's okay, Cordy. Is there anything else you are seeing?"
"There is one image I've been seeing almost constantly lately. Have I mentioned a big torch before? If not I really should have. It's big, really big. It's standing in some kind of hallway somewhere, beneath an arched stone ceiling. Did you ever watch that Lord of the Rings DVD I gave you for Christmas once?"
"I did, yes."
"It looks a bit like that big hall in the mines of Moira, remember that? Only without the Orcs. It's just a big torch and it's burning, burning so brightly. I can't look at it directly, it burns almost as bright as the sun."
"Is anyone there with the torch, Cordy?"
"No, there is no one. It's all alone, but ... but I get the feeling it's not. Not alone at all. I'm not making any sense, I know. It's as if someone is there with it, waiting, but not touching even though it wants to. Maybe it's waiting for the fire to go out, I don't know. I just know it's important somehow. To many people."
"Why do they want it? Why is it important?"
"I ... I can't say, Angel. Those flames, they ... they frighten me. I can't look at them or they'll burn me. They could ... I think they could burn the whole world. I think some people want them to burn the whole world."
"It's okay, Cordy. Calm down! We don't need to figure it all out in one night. You should rest a bit."
"No, I ... I'm okay, Angel. It's not like I will be able to sleep anyway. They won't let me. But that's okay. I mean ... it's important, right? Whatever is happening here, it has to be important, right? Otherwise they wouldn't do this to me. They're the good guys and they wouldn't do this to me if it wasn't really important, right?"
"Yes, I believe it is very important, Cordy. Still, try and get some rest now."
"Okay. I'll try."
"Is the mask helping any? Wesley and Tara spent a lot of time constructing it. Does it help even a little bit?"
"A little, yes. It's ... when I wear it the visions are not quite as strong. Sometimes I can even concentrate on something not related to them. Sometimes ... sometimes I can almost imagine seeing something else again. Something apart from what they are showing me. I know I don't, but it's nice to pretend, just for a while."
"Rest, Cordy. I'll be here until one of the others comes to stay with you."
"Do you think ... will they give me my eyes back when all this is over? Will they let me see again?"
"I don't know, Cordy. I don't know."
TO BE CONTINUED