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prologue LEBANON,TENNESSEE, TheTennessee night was screaming. Eric Powell ran clumsily through the tall grass beh. Thomas E. Sniegoski - The Fallen 02 - Leviathan · Read more Thomas E. Sniegoski - The Fallen 04 - Reckoning. Read more. The first three volumes in the New York Times bestselling The Fallen series is available as an eBook boxed set. Join the ultimate quest for caite.info son .
The fallen angel nodded. He ducked beneath the low-hanging branches of young trees that grew along the banks of the miniature river, then he plunged deeper into the wilderness. He snatched his notepad off the table. First period American Literature went fine, but halfway through second period, while taking Mr. Aaron stepped over the low fence. On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. They would need to be persistent, the angel thought, for it was a most unnatural fire they battled this morn.
Our price: Monstrous Thomas E. Simon Pulse, May Martin's Press, February Savage Thomas E. Recently Viewed Products. Thomas E. The God Machine. The Fallen 2. The Fallen 1. Then a mysterious man begins following Aaron. He knows about Aaron's troubled past and his new powers. And he has a message for Aaron: As the son of a mortal and an angel, Aaron has been chosen to redeem the Fallen.
Aaron tries to dismiss the news and resists his supernatural abilities. For the dark powers are gaining strength, and are hell-bent on destroying him Feist read bookz review.
There was no doubt now. He was, in fact, losing his mind. Jonas seemed genuinely pleased to see him. He glanced casually about the office. Little had changed since his last visit. Cream-colored walls, a framed Monet print bought in the gift shop of theMuseumofFine Arts —in a strange kind of way it felt comforting. Michael Jonas had been his counselor after his placement with theStanleys , and had done him a world of good. It was with his help that Aaron had learned to accept and cope with many of the curves life had seen fit to throw at him.
The man had become a good friend and at the moment, Aaron was feeling a little guilty for not making more of an effort to keep in touch.
Jonas shook his shaggy head, smiling through his thick salt-and-pepper beard. He grabbed the banana and juice and held them up to Aaron. He twisted the metal cap off the juice and took a large gulp. What can I do for you? How exactly do you explain that you can suddenly understand foreign languages—and, oh yes, your dog has started to speak to you?
The man was smiling, but there was definitely a touch of concern in his tone. Aaron shifted nervously in his seat. Aaron gripped the armrests tightly, sat back, and began to explain. He was sure to include that he had been experiencing a very bad headache just before he was suddenly able to understand their Portuguese. He decided to stop there, not yet wanting to broach the incident involving Gabriel.
He wheeled his chair over to the side of his desk and tossed the bag into the trash barrel. Do you have any other symptoms? Do you think it has anything to do with my headache? Jonas reached over to a pile of papers at the corner of his desk and removed a yellow legal pad.
Aaron nodded. Finished, he set his pen down on the pad and looked up. Like somebody put it through my skull into my brain. The doctor was shaking his head in disbelief. Aaron leaned forward, eager to know why this was happening to him.
You believe me, Doc? He held the pen in one hand and was tapping it against the palm of the other. He disappeared as he bent down to take something from the bottom shelf. When he came up, he laid a large text on top of the desk. Aaron could not see what its subject was, and waited nervously as the doctor thumbed through the pages.
His eyes bulged as he slowly closed the Latin text. The doctor was staring at him, and he felt like a bug beneath a microscope. Jonas nodded. After suffering severe head trauma in a skating accident, he found himself able to calculate the most complex math problems in his head. The doctor pondered the possibility. The doctor pulled up his sleeve and glanced at his watch.
He watched Dr. Jonas step out from behind his desk and move toward the door. What if there is something wrong with me—something wrong with my brain? He began to bite at his thumbnail.
Maybe it would be wise to make an appointment with the family physician just in case. He thought about missing another day of school and felt himself begin to panic. He wondered if colleges looked at the number of absences before making their acceptance decisions. The door opened. How would that be? Is that all right?
We can do a few more tests before I give my buddy at Mass General a ring. Jonas was removing a file from inside a cabinet beside his desk. The man was standing, looking calm and confident. See you tomorrow. Something over which he had no control. Aaron crossed the street and stepped over the low, dark green, pipe fence that encircled Lynn Common. Even though it was a bit rundown, it still had its charms. Besides the beach, it was one of his favorite places to walk Gabriel when the fickleNew England weather cooperated.
He walked across the expanse of green trying to clear his head. As he reached the middle of the open area, he remembered an odd bit ofLynn trivia: The voice of his junior high history teacher, Mr. Frost, droned on in his brain about the history of the city.
Settled in ,Lynn ultimately became a major producer of shoes. Though the construction of the common was first begun in , the present-day sections were shaped into the approximate proportions of a shoe during the nineteenth century, the larger area being the sole, and the smaller, the heel. At that moment, Aaron was inside the sole. Frost had talked about a book at the library that contained an aerial shot of the common. Aaron suddenly shuddered, as if someone had just slipped an ice cube along his spine.
The strange feeling that he was being watched rolled over him in waves, and he stopped to look around. He glanced at the ancient bandstand squatting in the center of the sole.
The shabby structure was once used for summer band concerts, but was now more of a hangout for kids skipping school or people passing time between unemployment checks.
Today it was empty. There was a shopping cart parked near the man. Probably collecting cans for the deposit money, Aaron thought as he continued on his way, studying the lone figure in the distance.
Yes, he was sure of it. The man was staring at him. Aaron could actually feel his gaze upon him. Aaron stepped over the low fence. As he fished his keys from his pocket he thought about what he would do for the rest of the day. He hoped a look around the library would help him decide on a topic.
Ideas danced around in his head: His senses screamed. Someone was behind him. The old man was dressed in a filthy overcoat, pants worn at the knees, and sneakers. The faint smell of body odor and alcohol wafted off him, and Aaron almost gagged on the unpleasant stench.
He was taken aback, not sure of what to do as the man began to lean toward him. What the hell is he doing? The man appeared to be smelling him. He moved in close to Aaron and sniffed at his face, his hair, his chest, and then he stepped back. He nodded, as if in response to a question to which only he was privy. The man responded, speaking in a language Aaron had never heard before, a language he somehow sensed had not been uttered by anyone in a very long time.
Aaron answered in kind. Aaron could have sworn that he saw what appeared to be a single flame dancing in the center of each ancient eye, but knew that it was probably just a trick of the light. He had to get away from this strange old man, from that word.
He had to get away as fast as he could. Aaron got inside his car and locked it. He put the key into the ignition and turned the engine over. As he put the car in drive, he chanced a look at the old man. He was still standing there, staring in at him with those intense eyes. Aaron turned away and pulled out into traffic. He glanced in the rearview mirror at the old man receding in the distance.
He continued to stand there, watching him drive away, mouth moving, repeating a single word. Aaron knew what he was saying. What the hell is going on? There was fear in the face that looked back from the mirror. What was that with the old man? His thoughts raced feverishly. He pulled some paper towels from the dispenser on the wall and wiped the water from his face. As he reached to the side of the sink for the restroom key, attached to an unusually large piece of wood, he noticed that his hand was shaking.
Aaron snatched up the key and clenched the wood tightly in his grasp. What are you getting so worked up over? You know this city is loaded with kooks.
He took a deep breath, composed himself, and opened the door. An old man was standing there with a coat slung over his arm. Aaron did the best that he could to return the pleasantries as he stepped out of the restroom.
He found an empty table far in the corner of one of the reading rooms and slung his jacket over the back of a chair. Besides, he needed something to distract him from the bizarreness that seemed to be following him of late. He had brought a notebook in with him and removed a pen from its front pocket. He settled in and spent hours perusing books on a number of different authors and literary subjects, searching for something that piqued his interest enough for a research paper.
Aaron tore out the page and stared at it. What does it mean? He got up from his chair and headed into the reference area of the library. He placed the large book down onto a table and began to look for the word, trying all the incarnations he had written. He found nothing. If anything could be salvaged from this train wreck of a day, at least he could get a head start on that. He crumpled up the piece of paper in his hand and headed back to the reading room. But the word continued to jump around in his head, as if it had a life of its own and was taunting him.
The usually crowded room was surprisingly empty, with several stations free. Seizing the opportunity to satisfy his curiosity, he walked in and sat down at one of the computers. He signed in with a password that he had obtained from the library his first year of high school, and called up a search engine that he used often when researching information for school papers.
The screen appeared and, choosing one of the varied spellings, he typed in the mystery word. He hit the Enter key and held his breath. The page cleared and then some information appeared. He maneuvered the mouse and brought the arrow over to the revised spelling, clicked once and waited as the new pages loaded. Aaron was startled to see how many sites appeared with some kind of connection to the word.
So much for it being nonsense, he thought as he scrolled down the page, reading a bit about each of the sites. There were multiple sites about a rock group, some about a role-playing game, all using the name Nephilim, but none gave a meaning.
A site that specialized in religious mythologies finally caught his attention. Is that it? Does it have something to do with religion? In that case, it was no wonder he had no familiarity with it. A fuller account is preserved in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, which recounts how a group of angels left heaven to mate with women, and taught humanity such heinous skills as the art of war.
Aaron sat back in his chair, stunned. Offspring of angels and mortal women, he read again. Somebody coughed behind him, and he turned to see four people waiting in the doorway of the computer room. A heavyset kid with a bad case of acne, wearing anX-Men T-shirt, tapped the face of his Timex watch and glared at him. Aaron looked back to the screen and quickly read a bit more before closing the site and signing out.
He removed his pen from his pocket and on the wrinkled piece of paper where he had written his various attempts at the mystery word, he crossed out the incorrect spellings leaving only the correct one.
Sighing heavily, he returned to his seat and his books in the other room. He sat down with every intention of working on his paper, but found that he could not concentrate, his thoughts stalled on the story of human women having babies with angels. A shiver of unease ran up and down his spine as he chillingly recalled the subject of his recurring dream.
Again he saw the boy attacked by the winged creatures dressed in golden armor. It was too much of a coincidence to ignore. He got to his feet and snatched up the notepad from the table. He had to find out more. It was as if something was compelling him to dig deeper. He wrote the titles down on his notepad and began his search.
It was an apochryphal book of the Old Testament, written in Hebrew about a century before the birth of Christ. The original version was lost near the end of the fourth century, and only fragments remained until Bruce the Traveler brought back a copy fromAbyssinia in , probably made from a version known to the early Greek fathers.
What followed were some passages from the ancient text of Enoch, and what Aaron read summed up all that he had learned so far: For in those days the sons of men having multiplied, there were born to them daughters of great beauty.
And when the angels, or sons of heaven, beheld them, they were filled with desire; wherefore they said to one another: His knowledge of angels was limited to what was often found on holiday cards or at the tops of Christmas trees—beautiful women in flowing, white gowns, or children with tiny wings, and halos perched on their heads. He quickly turned in his chair, half expecting to see the crazy old man pointing his gnarly finger and calling him Nephilim over and over again—but was shocked to see Vilma Santiago.
The girl gave him the sweetest of smiles and meekly came into the room. The girl shook her head and grinned from ear to ear. Where did you learn it? Aaron shrugged his shoulders. From A to Z and began to thumb through it. He just stood there and smiled as he watched the girl go through the books he had pulled from the shelves. It must have been some weird form of synchronicity, he imagined. What are the odds?
It boggled his already addled brain. Seems like it might be really interesting. He snatched his notepad off the table. Vilma Santiago, the hottest girl in theLynn public schools, and he was asking her to help him with his research paper.
What an absolute idiot, he berated himself. The girl of his dreams had agreed to help him with his paper, and actually seemed to be excited about doing it. Vilma was silent also, nervously looking at the books on the table then back to him. She glanced at her watch.
She actually noticed that he was absent today. Maybe there was something to what she had said to her friends yesterday. Maybe she actually did think he was cute. Have a good weekend. It was almost enough to make him forget all about the disturbing dreams, his strange new linguistic skills, and the cryptic ramblings of a crazy old man.
Of all that was lost to him, he missed that the most. It was not true sleep by human standards, but it was a way for him to remember a time precious to him, the time before his fall. Sam rolled onto his back and opened his eyes to the new day. He did not need to check a clock to tell him the hour; he knew it to be precisely eightA. He lay quietly and listened to the sounds ofHong Kong outside and far below his penthouse apartment.
But today he had little interest. Sam rose from his bed and padded naked across the mahogany floor to stand in front of the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the city. A Chinese junk, its sails unfurled, caught his attention as it cruised gracefully across the emerald green water ofVictoriaBay.
He had lived in many places in his long life on this planet, but none brought him as much solace as this place. China spoke to him. It told him that everything would be all right, and on most days, he believed that to be true. He pressed his forehead against the thick glass and allowed himself to feel the cold of its surface. His naked skin responded with prickled gooseflesh, and although he reveled in the human experience, everyday he longed for what he once had, for what was lost when he refused to take a side in the Great War.
His head still pressed against the window, Sam opened his eyes and gazed at the panorama before him. Yes, he longed for the glory that was once his, but each day this place—this wondrous sight sought to seduce him with its vitality. A distraction that sometimes made it easier to accept his fate. Sam was slipping into his black silk robe, enjoying the sensation upon his pale, sculpted flesh, when the phone began to chirp. He knew who was calling. Not from any innate psychic ability, but because she called each morning at this very time.
Joyce Woo was the human woman he allowed to manage his various business affairs, including his nightclubs, casinos, and restaurants. Sam strolled from the bedroom to the chrome-and-tile kitchen and let the machine pick up.
He decided to play a little game—to see if he could guess the problems she was calling to report. What trivial piece of nonsense would she choose to annoy him with this time? Sam popped a cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon and drank from it as he listened to the message. He toasted the incoming call with the bottle. I can give you more details when you come into the office this morning, but I wanted you to be aware. But she began to speak again.
He paused in the hall to listen. Verchiel, stopped by the office this morning. He said he will only be in town for a short time and hoped the two of you could get together. The bottle dropped from his hand to the floor, shattering and spilling the expensive contents onto the black and white tiles. Good morning, sir. Sam Chia bounded to his bedroom and threw open the doors of the heavy wooden armoire. He shed his robe and pulled out clothes. There would be no time for a shower today and he would not be going into the office.
He had to leaveHong Kong. It was as simple as that. If Verchiel had found him, then there was no doubt that the Powers had come toChina. And if that were the case, then none of his ilk was safe. Sam finished buttoning his white cotton shirt and began to tuck its tails inside his pants.
He cinched the brown leather belt around his waist. He slipped his bare, delicate feet into a pair of Italian loafers and donned a navy blue sports jacket. He would go to Europe;France would suffice. He would stay inParis until Verchiel and his dogs leftChina. Joyce could manage his affairs until he returned.
Sam placed his billfold inside his coat pocket and picked up the phone to summon his driver. He would go to the airport, charter a plane, and contact Joyce once in flight. Startled, Sam dropped the phone and spun around to face the voice.
The child followed, heeling obediently at his side. To the human eye they appeared as decoration, but in actuality, they were much more than that. I left because I did not want to choose sides. I loved the Morningstar, as I loved all my brethren, but to question the Almighty—I could think of no other solution but to flee.
Even after all this time, his actions shamed him. Startled, the child leaped from the sofa and ran to hide, as if sensing the violence that was sure to follow. It annoys me to no end. Anger unlike any he had ever experienced coursed through his body. Perhaps he had spent too much time among the humans, he thought. Their rabid emotions had obviously begun to rub off on him. Does this not count for anything? A cruel grin began to form on his pale white features as he fixed Sam with his icy stare.
I once had wings as mighty,he remembered with overwhelming sadness. Wings that could have taken him away from this place, allowed him to flee the judgment of Verchiel. But that was long, long ago, and what were once mighty, were now nothing more than an atrophied shadow of their former glory.
Verchiel began to rhythmically move his wings and the penthouse was suddenly filled with winds as strong as tropical storms. It opened a bleeding gash above his right eye. He was picked up by the powerful gale and hurled backward, pinned against the picture windows.
As he slammed against the glass, the sound of something cracking filled his ears, and he wondered if it was the window behind him or his bones. He wanted to speak, to scream out that he was truly sorry for his sins, but the blood from his head wound streamed down his face into his mouth, silencing him. He had never even seen his own blood, but now it was filling his mouth with its foul taste. The inch-thick pane of window glass behind him began to crack and spiderweb across its surface.
Windows that had been built to withstand powerful storms from thePacific Ocean were no match for the power of Verchiel. Again Sam struggled to speak. Verchiel continued his advance, wings flapping faster and faster still. Sam yelled all the louder. A heavy chrome kitchen chair tumbled away from the table, and as if made of tin, was propelled through the air toward him. Sam closed his eyes on the horrible visage of Verchiel, his wings unmercifully assaulting the air. His time was at an end, of this he was certain.
What he had feared most since falling to Earth was finally to claim him. Samuel Chia, formerly Samchia of the Heavenly Host, willed his mind elsewhere, to a time before the war, before impossible choices, before the fall. Within a twinkling shower of razor-sharp glass and debris, Sam fell yet again. And as he descended to his end, he dreamed. He dreamed of flying. Gabriel trotted happily into the living room where theStanleys had assembled for Chinese takeout and the weekly Friday night movie rental.
He was proudly holding a purple stuffed toy in his mouth. Aaron sat on the floor with Stevie building a multicolored tower with Duplo blocks. Occasionally he looked up at the television to see what Mr. Schwarzenegger was blowing up. The night was all about distraction, anything to keep from thinking about the strange incidents of the last two days. Except for the conversation with Vilma Santiago, he wished he could forget them completely.
The dog dropped the purple toy before Aaron and it rolled to topple the Duplo tower. Aaron ignored him and helped the child select some more blocks to fortify the tower. Gabriel lunged forward and snatched up the toy with his mouth. He gave it a ferocious shake and let it fly.
Aaron glared at the animal. Go lie down. Gabriel abruptly turned and quickly strolled from the room. Good,Aaron thought, connecting a blue block to a yellow.
To anyone else it was typical dog noise, a series of whines, growls, and barks, but to Aaron it was a language—a language he could easily understand. Tonight he wanted it to be like it used to be. A bark, an excited wag of the tail—that was all the conversation he really needed from his four-legged friend. Aaron heard the sound of toenails clicking across the kitchen linoleum toward the living room, and then a strange grunting sound.
Squeaky Pig was on its way. Gabriel came around the corner, a pink stuffed pig clutched in his maw.
With his muscular jaws he squeezed the body of the pig repeatedly, and it emitted a sound very much like that of a pig grunting. As before, the dog approached and let the toy fall to the floor. He was angry with the day and all the stuff that had happened, angry with the dog for reminding him that things are not how they used to be, angry with himself for being angry.
When she had seen what movie her husband brought back from the video store, she had gone upstairs to get out her latest romance novel. If you only knew the half of it. He blinked his soulful, brown eyes repeatedly and lowered his ears flat against his skull.
Bad dog. How could I be so cruel? Aaron thought disgustedly. Aaron had to call for him two more times before the dog finally responded, peeking around the doorframe. Gabriel plopped his large body down beside Aaron and was having his tummy rubbed when Stevie looked up from his blocks. His usually blank face became animated as his eyes twinkled with the light of awareness. Stevie showed no sign that he even remembered what he had just done.
He simply returned his attention to his blocks. Stevie remained in his world of silence. Aaron got up. The dog sprang to his feet and wagged his tail. So much for distraction, he thought as he took an apple from the small wicker basket atop the microwave and brought it to the cutting board on the counter. Aaron saw the old man in his mind pointing at him. Aaron gave him a slice and took one for himself.
Something weird was happening to him. And he realized that he had no other choice than to find out exactly what that was. He took another bite of the apple, then gave the rest to Gabriel. It was a crazy idea, but he was desperate to know what was happening to him. He would have to take a chance.
Before his appointment with Dr. Jonas the next day, he would try to find the old man from the common. Aaron shook his head. Then go to common. Aaron scowled to himself. He pulled back and let the tennis ball fly. Gabriel bounded across the common in hot pursuit of the bouncing ball. The wind still had a sharpness to it and he zipped his brown leather jacket a little higher.
Gabriel cavorted with the ball clenched tightly in his mouth. Since his strange ability to communicate with the dog manifested, Aaron was amazed at how little it took to make Gabriel truly happy: It must be pretty awesome to get so much from so little, he mused as he watched the dog gallop toward him.
Gabriel growled; the muscles in his back legs twitched with anticipation. Aaron lunged and the dog bolted to avoid capture. He snagged Gabriel by the choke chain around his neck and pulled the growling beast toward him. Aaron made a move to throw it, hiding the ball beneath his arm, and the dog shot off in hot pursuit of nothing.
And as Gabriel looked in his direction, he held the ball up. Aaron smiled. The dog suddenly became distracted by something beyond Aaron. But then the man waved, and he suddenly knew. The dog looked at him and then across the common. They were about six feet away when Gabriel moved ahead of him, his head tilted back as he sniffed the air. Aaron could see that the man was smiling, his long wispy, white hair moving around his head in the cool, spring breeze.