A Fallen?!

  It took me a moment to process and accept the First Elder's statement. A Fallen. Impossible. It could not be. There was no "way" to engage a Fallen. However, if someone had figured out a way to isolate one on a single plane of existence, and engage it, it would be Kip. But why would he even try?!?! Such an encounter would be suicide -- far too dangerous for legions of powerful finite beings, let alone for a single being to attempt. Unless of course, you were the Zion, and a cocky New York Jew, in which case, even a zero percent chance of success sounded like good odds.

  Yet, someone had to save the Zion, he was far too important to let die. Besides, I owed the First Elder and the Zion debts that could not be ignored. But I had not truly "dreamed" in some time, and returning to the dreamscape for the first time in years to fight a Fallen was not exactly the best time to take on the greatest foe that I had ever even imagined, let alone faced.

  Why had I stopped dreaming you ask? Hell, I do not know. Tired, I guess, well, honestly, shortly after law school, I sorta "lost my way", and had not been inclined toward the spiritual life. And the effects of that time off seemed apparent to me. I was rusty -- to call me less than sharp was a monumental understatement. I turned to look at the First Elder, and he, sensing my uncertainty, smiled back.

  "You, and only you, can save the Zion." I didn't get what the First Elder meant by that, because there were no fewer than a dozen legions here, and while no individual or group of several of them could probably defeat me, as a collective, with the First Elder commanding them, they should have a fighting chance against a Fallen -- well, maybe a small one.

  Not that any of that even mattered. Honorbound, I had no choice in the matter, and all I was doing by thinking about it was stalling. "Ok, First Elder, let's ride." There was then a blinding flash of light as the First Elder opened a rupture around us. When my blindness passed, we stood on the edge of long and beautiful green field, overlooking the ocean. It would have almost been pleasant but for the hideous sky and the doorway looming on the horizon.

  Although we were some distance from mouth of the door way, which was, presumably, where the Zion was being held, there was no mistaking the power of the being near that door way. In fact, so powerful was this being, that I could not feel the Zion's presence at all.

  How could the Zion be so stupid.

  I turned toward the First Elder and his escorts, "Wait here, I will take care of this on my own. First Elder, I will return your grandson to you alive." The First Elder nodded, although there was no shortage of grumblings from the peanut gallery. The First Elder rapped his staff against the ground, and the back talk immediately ceased. Meanwhile, I awoke Wrath and Justice, took a few hops, skips, and then, one big leap as I took off. Once airborne, I fully released my ki, and sped toward the disturbance at the speed of thought.

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