Fiery the Angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc
- William Blake, America A prophecy.

Deep Thunder

Confessions of an Ex-Soldier, Ex-Cop and Ex-Con

The Light and the Dark

Wednesday, September 27, 2019

“I am Arhiziel, Messenger to the Light and Servant of The One,” said Geeky Dude. “You guys were there, is that what you heard?”

The usual cast of characters was gathered around the TV set. I admit that I enjoyed The Preacher’s company, and I could even put up with Born Again, but Geeky Dude gets on my nerves. He seems to exist in some kind of science fiction fantasy land and he has the annoying habit of making comparisons to scifi science. Born Again and Geeky Dude routinely go off on tangents – fighting over religion and science fiction, which in a way seems to be Geeky Dude’s religion. They’re both nuts, if you ask me, but they’re regular paying customers so John puts up with them.

Geeky Dude’s question sounded like the beginning of more of the same.

“What do you mean?” asked The Preacher.

“Well, it’s kind of odd phrasing don’t you think?”

I hadn’t given it much thought, but since he brought it up – yeah it was kind’ve odd, but then again it really didn’t sound much different from the phrasing attributed to most ‘messages from on high.’ And I said as much.

“No,” Geeky Dude said. “Look at the sentence structure.” He had a copy of the Tribune laid out on the table. Arhiziel’s message has been reprinted dozens of times in the last month, along with the messages from the Angels in Kansas and New York. From what I can tell, they are all pretty much the same.

“What are you getting at?”

“Look – ‘Messenger to the Light. To the Light, not of the Light.”

“Translation error,” John said.

“That’s why I asked, what did you hear? You were there.”

We all looked at each other, John, The Preacher, and me.

To,” I said. “That’s what I heard.” The others nodded agreement.

“Translation error,” John said, again. “Look, I’m more convinced now than ever that there is nothing ‘divine’ about these creatures. They’re carbon based lifeforms, just like us. Their technology is so advanced that it looked like magic to a bunch of Iron Age sheepherders the last time they were here, but we’ve come a ways since then. And, Clarke’s Law aside, their technology has limits…”

“Sorry, no,” said The Preacher.

Anybody else, John might have slapped them down right there. But the three of us are becoming friends. I suspect that The Preacher is former military, though not Army, and while we don’t see to eye to eye on a lot of things he seems to respect both of our opinions. Respect earns respect, so John just raised an eyebrow at the interruption.

“Leaving aside your unsupported assumption that they’re carbon based for a moment, look at the rest of it, the message,” The Preacher said. “It’s stilted, sure. And there are some minor differences in the transcriptions depending on which source you read, but that part is always the same. I think the angel meant exactly what he said.”

“So, what’s it mean then?”

“Dark Matter,” said Geeky Dude.


“Dark Matter,” continued Geeky Dude, he was getting exited. “Look, if you read that literally, Arhiziel is claiming to be a messenger for something else, The One, he said.”

“God,” Born Again said, somewhat predictably I thought.

“Sure, OK, whatever. But by definition God in indefinable, right? And so is Dark Matter or Dark Energy. Despite our best efforts we have never seen it, never detected it, yet supposedly it makes up 60% of the universe – we know it must be there, we can see its effects even if we can’t see it. Isn’t that exactly how you Christians see God? In science, Dark Matter is a matter of faith.”

“So you’re saying that the Angels are made of Dark Matter?”

“No. The Angels themselves said they are merely messengers in the service of something else. It seems to me that if that something else could interfere in the affairs of man directly, it would. Instead, it has dispatched servants who can. This doesn’t contradict anything in your bible, in fact – there are dozens of references to the Light and the Dark, aren’t there? What if they are literal, not allegorical?

I was sure that The Preacher would have something to say, instead he just looked thoughtful. Geeky Dude and Born Again went off on some tangent at this point. John sent me to inventory the storeroom; we haven’t been getting our regular supplies. But the farmer’s market is supposed to open tomorrow and we’re going down to stock up if we can.

I thought about what Geeky Dude said, and frankly I don’t see how it matters (heh) one way or the other. We are in the hands of powerful creatures, and I don’t see what we can do about it other than to cooperate.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 10:02 PM

Thursday, September 26, 2019

“Never throw shit at an armed man,” John said.

“Niven’s Law,” said The Preacher.

The morning after the Angels killed a thousand people in Balboa Park, the three of us were huddled in the café, drinking coffee and trying to figure out what we had just seen.

“I didn’t throw anything at anybody,” I said. I was still scared clean through and I hadn’t slept much – I kept expecting Arhiziel and his Host to break down my door. I kept seeing those cops come apart like rag dolls. I hadn’t yet started to get mad, then, I think I was still in shock.

“Niven’s Second Law, Van”

“What’s that?”

“Never stand next to somebody throwing shit at an armed man.”

Makes sense. This Niven guy should probably amend his law to ‘don’t shoot at Angels either.'

It had been a grim twelve hours by then, since we’d made it back to the café. The Preacher had slept on the couch upstairs (with the curfew and martial law and everything else it didn’t seem safe to let him go home). We’d been open for an hour, but nobody had come in. Martial Law, people were staying off the streets. Military trucks had been going by all night, and about 7:00 AM one pulled up at the corner down the street near the highway entrance and soldiers got out, Guardsmen, and started setting up a checkpoint. That was nearly a month ago, and the checkpoint appears to have become a permanent installation since then.

If nothing else, the Angels have effectively ended the war in the Middle East – at least for us, though it doesn’t appear to have done much for the sectarian violence between Sunni’s and Shia’s. If anything, I say its worse – everybody’s trying to get in their last licks before Judgment Day I guess. But they’re going to be doing it without us I guess. Where we’re going to get our gas from is another story.

The troops have been returning home here in California for the last two weeks, and being redeployed in the cities. LA is practically an armed camp from what we understand (John has a cousin up that way and he talks to her on the phone when it’s working). There are checkpoints throughout San Diego, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. These guys have spent the last twelve months manning checkpoints and doing patrols in the Triangle. They’re used to shooting first and not asking any questions. Though I think most people are glad to see them for now.

I personally haven’t seen an Angel or those giant Nephilim since that day in the park. But rumors are everywhere. Supposedly they’ve set up some kind of base in the park. The Army has the whole place surrounded, from the Cabrillo Bridge across to Pershing and north of the Zoo. Who’s feeding the animals, if anybody is, I don’t know. I guess they tried to truck a bunch of them out to the Wild Animal Park up near Escondido, but the Army stopped them before they were finished. The Army won’t let anybody near the place, and so far the Angels have left the Soldiers alone.

We keep hearing rumors of Angels or Nephilim on the streets, but we haven’t seen them. Rumors are that there have been miracles, and more killings, and people just disappearing, but nothing for sure. There was a woman on the local news last week who was sobbing and hysterical, claiming that she’d been raped by Nephilim. It sounded fishy to me, but according to what I’ve read, that’s what Nephilim did back in the day, and I guess a lot of people believe her. There was a mob outside the city office demanding that the government do something. What exactly they expected, I don’t know. The news said that the woman had spent time in a mental institution and that she had ‘emotional problems,’ but that she had been assaulted. Then the next day they said none of that was true and that she hadn’t been assaulted.

I saw this bit in the opinion section on the Tribune Online:

Bearing false witness is a sin! [she’ll] be called to Judgment when JESUS returns, which will be SOON! She must be brought before HOLY Arzheil (sic) and judged. The Rule Of Man Is At An End! ALL sinners and atheists will be JUDGED unless they accept the LORD as their savior NOW!

There were a hundred more comments exactly like that and only one disagreeing.

I fear for the future, I do.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 3:58 PM

Obey or be destroyed

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My God! This month has been insane.

I haven’t been online for a while. I understand things are different in other parts of the country, but here in SoCal things have disintegrated into chaos. There have been four more good sized quakes, and dozens of small ones. We haven’t had stable power for two weeks, and up until this morning the city grid has been ‘temporarily offline by order of the Department of Homeland Security, Information Directorate.” Make of that what you will. I’m not commenting, I’ve got enough problems.

Angels appeared in Los Angeles and San Diego on the morning of August 27th, two days after the Mexico City Ultimatum, and a day after the events in Washington and Buffalo and Kansas City.

I guess they were welcomed in the Midwest, John and I watched their arrival in Kansas City, it seemed as the whole population was out, singing hymns and holding up candles like some 90’s We Are The World concert. I guess it was fairly peaceful there, at first. We haven’t heard any reports out of there in a week though, so I have no idea what it’s like.

The vicious commenter Anon Y Mous, whom I’ll just call Mouse from now on, told me to stop giving second hand reports. I never intended to be a source of news, Mouse, and I have no idea of where you live, but you’ll get your wish today if you’re still around. What I’m about to say I saw with my own eyes. And I really wish I hadn’t.

About 10 AM on August 27th, we were sitting in the dinning room watching the news with what has become our usual motley crew: Geeky Dude, Born Again, and the Preacher (who is turning out to be an interesting fellow, more on that later). Geeky Dude’s phone rang, he answered it, and turned pale as milk.

They are here,” he announced. “In the park.”

Balboa Park of course.

“Get your hat, Van,” John said to me. “I want to see these things for myself.”

“Screw that!” Geeky Dude said. “I’m going home and hide under the bed. I don’t want to be anywhere near those things. Nobody has heard shit out of Buffalo in two days! And you all heard what happened in Tehran, right?”

We’d heard. But I didn’t have any intention of throwing rocks at Angels or Aliens or whatever they were. Yeah, yeah, hindsight, but even canny old John didn’t see this one coming.

We locked up and I hung the “closed” sign on the door. Geeky Dude went home to, presumably, hide under his bed and Born Again went off to find a prayer meeting or something. But The Preacher tagged along with us. As I said, he has turned out to be an interesting fellow, not at all what either John or I were expecting. No fire, no brimstone and he hasn’t tried to convert either one of us, yet.

We took the trolley down to the zoo station. And zoo was the right word, the crowd was huge and growing larger every minute. There were prayer groups and people singing. There were a lot of frightened looking, ordinary folks. And lots and lots of crazies. I saw a dozen big guys who looked like they were having the time of their lives; they were dressed up as science fiction soldiers and had painted themselves leaf green. I had no idea who the hell they were or what they were doing, but they seemed to be having fun. It was pretty obvious that the cops had completely given up on enforcing the ordinance, and were just settling for trying to maintain some kind of order. There were more Blackrivers than I’ve ever seen, but even with all of their fancy gear they couldn’t do much more than the PD – so they just stood around glaring at people and stroking their machine pistols. Somebody said the Angles were near the fountain in front of the museum, and we pushed through the crowd in that direction. John took point, he’s built like a bulldozer and he forced a path for me and The Preacher. We made our way through the Spanish Village and around the Natural History Museum, and managed to find a spot on the steps.

And there they were, less than a hundred yards away.

I don’t know if you seen the pictures. I’d put some up but my bandwidth is limited at the moment, maybe in a couple of days. I’ll try to describe it. There were twenty of them at first, in a circle around the base of the fountain, facing outward. As far as I could tell they were identical to the ones that appeared in Mexico City. Giants, The Preacher said, and giants they are. If you haven’t seen one, they are enormous – comparing them to the fountain, I’d say they are at least nine to ten feet in height, and huge across the shoulders. They look like men in football gear, only not.

“Neanderthals,” The Preacher said.

“Yah, that’s what I thought too,” John answered. “But, damn, I thought cave men were shorter than modern humans.”

The Preacher gave us both a look, and I’m still not sure what he meant when he said, “I guess God can make his servants any size he wants. The Bible and the Torah both speak of Giants, Nephilim. Goliath was a giant, supposedly. And there are Neanderthal skeletons in the Dan Carmel natural history museum in Haifa, in Israel, I’ve seen them. No giants, but…”

“You’re saying those aren’t Angels then?” Somebody shouted from behind us, The Preacher had been overheard, apparently. People started making growling noises, I swear, they wanted to believe and it was about then that I realized just how quickly things could turn ugly.

“No.” Preacher said in that reasonable tone he has. He held up his bible so everybody could see it. “According to Jewish text, Nephilim are not Angels, they were the giants of Canaan…”

Fuck the Jews, those bastards are going to get judged today!” somebody shouted.

“Shut up. Now.” John told The Preacher.

“Yeah, big mistake.”

John and I pushed the crowd back but I thought we were going to get lynched right there.

And then it happened.

I just caught it out of the corner of my eye when the Angel appeared over the fountain. There was a crack like thunder and then dead silence; you could hear echoes from the boom rolling down over the city. I’ve never seen so many people so suddenly quiet. There was a scream or two, then – nothing. People began falling to their knees, I would probably have been one of them, but we were pressed up against the railing and could barely move. I guess up to that point I didn’t really believe that they were actual Angels. Even seeing the Nephilim with my own eyes hadn’t completely convinced me, Hollywood and Disneyworld are just up the road after all, and some of their special effects are just as convincing. Maybe more so.

But the Angel was different. It glowed with a fiery white light and its wings were like nothing I’ve ever seen. Oil on water, somebody said. Yeah, if the oil was burning in a thousand unnamed colors, colors you didn’t even know existed before you saw them, and if the oil was floating on water that reflected the light of a thousand nebulas, like those pictures from the old James Webb space telescope. It’s been a month and I can’t get the image of those wings out of my mind. The pictures on TV and the internet are nothing but shadows compared to the real thing. Those wings are like a door into another dimension, or into Heaven.

The Angel was different from the Mexico City Angel. Smaller, though much taller than a man. It hovered above the fountain and its robes floated around it like those ghosts in the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The wings moved, but not like a bird flapping, and it was pretty obvious to me that they weren't what was holding the Angel up. The Angel was thin, elfin almost, and its skin glowed with pale light. There was a halo around its head – a ghostly rainbow of light. I couldn’t see it very well from where I was standing, but afterward people said that it was like when light bends going through water. And no matter how you looked at it, it was always the same, the same orientation as if there was an invisible sphere around the Angel's head that you can only see then the light passes through the edges.

It raised its arms and spoke.

Obey the Word. Cooperate and be rewarded. Resist and be destroyed.

Its voice was like nothing I can describe. It was like, well, angels. Like a choir. Like an earthquake. Like a thousand people screaming. Like buildings falling. Like worlds colliding.

Like the Voice of God.

I heard it in English. I understand that others heard it in different languages, and heard different words though the message was the same. I don’t know. I don’t know if I heard it with my ears or somewhere inside my brain. People fainted. People were crying. I heard ten thousand people moaning together and I might have been one of them. Rapture.

I am Arhiziel, Messenger to the Light and Servant of The One. The rule of man is at an end. We have returned and things will be as they were. The Host will move among you. Obey the Word, do not interfere. Failure to heed the Word will unleash the fires of Heaven.

Until I die I’ll remember those words, I can’t forget them.

And I’ll never forget what happened next either.

There was a popping noise. And people screaming. And you could see across the plaza something was going on, people trying to run, but so packed that they could hardly move.

What kind of batshit crazy does it take to shoot at an Angel?

Arhiziel turned to face the sound, unharmed so far as I could tell, and raised his horn. Up to that point I hadn’t even noticed that he had one. I only got a brief glimpse, but I’ve seen pictures since. It doesn’t really look like a horn, other than the flared bell, and I couldn’t describe it any better than I can describe the Angel’s wings. But I can describe the results, it's not a horn or a trump or any other musical instrument – it’s a weapon.

There was a sound, more terrible than anything, and the buildings began to come apart. I only saw what was happening to the people for a second, I saw the whole front line of security go down and come apart just like the buildings, before John grabbed me from behind.

“Time to go!”


“Through the building, this way!” The Preacher led us towards the doors and I noticed that he elbowed Jew Baiter in the nose as he went past. We made it through the doors with the museum ripping apart around us. The sound was unbelievable! We found a fire exit on the far side of the building. We got through the crowd faster than I would have believed possible, people were still pushing towards the fountain, toward the carnage, they hadn't figured it out yet. We yelled at them as we went past but nobody was listening. Eventually we made it across the Cabrillo bridge and across US5.

A dozen Blackrivers were running ahead of us, dropping weapons and uniforms. John got one of the machine pistols, and The Preacher grabbed two more. Me, I just ran and had just enough remaining sense to realize that an ex-con with a weapon was a very, very bad idea.

It took us hours to get back to the café, we walked most of the way.

I don't know how many people died. If the government knows, they're not saying. Martial Law came down that night and has been in place ever since.

And that, of course, was only the beginning.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 8;02 AM


Wednesday, August 25, 2019

So they’re saying that the communications blackout had nothing to do with the Angels, apparently the Mexico City data hub overloaded and shut down. Sounds a bit coincidental to me.

We stayed up until midnight, hoping for some news. I guess Reuters got their satellite link up and running right after we turned off the set and went to bed, so we didn’t see the text of the message until this morning.

Obey the Word. Cooperate and be rewarded. Resist and be destroyed.

Two days we waited for that?

“They wanted our attention,” John said. “And they waited until they had it.”

Reuters said that there was more; private instructions, ultimatums I guess, for the heads of state, but that’s just details – the message is clear enough – and it scares me clean through.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 5:38 AM


Tuesday, August 25, 2019

Well, so much for Geeky Dude’s analysis. It sure didn’t move like any insect I’ve ever seen.

I guess it was waiting for the world leaders to arrive. I wonder if the Angels are insulted that Stauch sent the Secretary of State instead of coming himself. I don’t know if Angels get insulted.

This evening the café is full, mostly our regulars, most of whom had been here all day. I don’t think anybody, anywhere went to work today, except for the news reporters that is – but I guess that would figure, covering the end of the world must be the ultimate story. John usually goes to the market on Tuesday mornings, but we didn’t go today for obvious reasons. None of the delivery guys have shown up either. So we were down to canned tomatoes for dinner. John made spaghetti and garlic toast.

I was behind the counter, straining noodles and trying not to scald myself when everybody shouted. I put down the big pot, carefully, and ran around front where I could see the TV, just a little too late to see it actually happen.

“Ah,” John said, “The infantry as arrived.”

“Giants!” Born Again said, I thought he was having a heart attack, he was pale and sweating. But after a minute or two he seemed to perk up.

I wish we had a bigger screen, and HD, it took me a minute to understand what they were talking about. You’ve seen it and they’ve played it back a hundred times today, but in those first couple of minutes it just didn’t make any sense to me. It still doesn’t, even though I’ve watched the replay over and over. To me, it was like they had been there all along, only nobody noticed them. Like all hundred of those big damn giant soldier looking things were standing in my blindspot. No sparkles, no magic transporter effects, no smoke and flash, just suddenly there they are in a perfect chevron around the original Seraphim. MSNBC played it back frame by frame, and I don’t think even IL&M could have duplicated that effect. I don’t see how that could have been technology, no matter how advanced, I think John is wrong.

“What the hell are those things?” Somebody asked.

“Infantry, soldiers, the alien equivalent of Black River Security,” John said.

Nephilim.” The street preacher was standing behind us. I hadn’t even heard the door open.

He came in and I thought we were going to get a sermon, but he sat down at the lunch counter. “Spaghetti? Smells good.”

John gave me the raised eyebrow – John’s pretty damned clear with the non-verbal communications: it might be the end of the world, but people still got to eat, get on it – and I hustled around the counter to dish up the food.

“Nephilim,” I asked him, “were supposed to be fallen Angels, right?”

“No.” He smiled at me and took a bite of garlic bread. "That's Hollywood."

“Nephilim are giants, the offspring of Angels and the daughters of man,” Born Again was waving his bible. “Genesis, Chapter Six, Verse One” (I’m paraphrasing here, I didn’t actually catch chapter and verse – I had to look it up later).

The Preacher said, “Correct. They were supposedly warlike.”

“Well, they sure as fuck look warlike to me,” Geeky Guy said. He’s got a mouth on him, Geeky Guy does, somebody told me that he used to be in the Navy twenty years ago – I’d believe that. The army, the squad room, and prison – even I don’t swear like he does. I had to agree with him though, they do look like soldiers. Big brutal bastards. They’re what? At least nine, ten feet tall, like the biggest pro-ball linebackers I’ve ever seen. Massive, that’s the word I’m looking for; they look like they weigh a thousand pounds. No wings on them that I can see. No glow either, no halos. No obvious weapons, but they look like they could tear a man apart with their bare hands. I’ve got to agree with Born Again, they look more like men than the Seraphim does, not quite right, but they look like giant men. John’s got to be wrong, why would aliens look like men?

I was looking directly the screen when the Seraphim finally moved. Maybe somebody else can describe it better, to me it was like music, I’ve never seen anything move like that. Geeky Dude is wrong on all accounts, it doesn’t move like a bug and even on our crappy LD tube its wings are like rainbows – Oil on Water, Street Preacher said. Insect wings my ass, they like a waterfall, like fire. How do you describe such things in words? I can’t. I can’t even imagine what it must be like in person. It must be incredible. I looked at some webcam footage of the crowd, people were falling to their knees, sobbing, crying. Hell, at least three quarters of the Mexican Army grunts dropped their weapons and were on their knees, can’t say I blame them.

Every channel kept their cameras on the Angels, I didn’t realize until just now that it stopped in front of the Mexican president and the other delegates. I was looking directly at the screen when it finally spoke and the sound went dead. When the picture went out, I thought it was just the Mexican cameraman dropping his camera or something. But it’s out on all channels here, no sound or video out of Mexico City. The CNN anchors are going apeshit, MSNBC has the 'Please Stand By' notice up, I guess they're not even trying.

We’ve been sitting here for the last hour, waiting for the news to come back on.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 6:13 PM

Clarke's Law

Tuesday, August 25, 2019

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” John said to me.

It took me a second to understand what he was saying.

“Clarke’s Law, Van.” As in Arthur C. Clarke, the Space Odyssey guy, I looked it up. John’s skepticism was shaken, but unbowed I think.

“You’re saying that the Angels are aliens? Space aliens?” I asked. Everybody in the place was listening to us. There weren’t many customers, only about half a dozen. I think everybody else was home glued to their LCD’s or busy finding a church – where they were probably watching TV between prayers and baptisms.

“You’d rather believe that those things are really angels? Biblical angels? Come on, people. Look at what we know. That big blue light in the sky. Gravity waves. Radiation – that’s their ship, man! Didn’t you people have science in high school? Why would angels need a space ship?”

One of the customers started to agree, but everybody else shouted him down.

“Yeah, but how come we can't see a ship? It would have to be huge!”

“Stealth, Van,” John said. “The Air Force can disappear an entire bomber squadron off a radar screen. Any creatures that can travel between the stars would sure as hell have a shitload better stealth technology.”

“Like the Romulans from Star Trek, right?” Somebody said (One of our regulars, a little tubby, bearded 60-something fellow, who I’ll call Geeky Dude). “They can make a whole warbird invisible!”

“Uh, sure, OK.” John looked at me as if to say – Hey, look! Crazies!

Geeky Dude pointed at the TV where MSNBC had a picture of the Mexico City Angel running in continuous loop. We’d turned the sound down; the Angel hadn’t moved in hours, it might as well have been a statue. “Look, clothes - robes anyway - that horn thing, and it’s wearing some kind of crown or something on its head. And the light! White light. It’s an energy field, some kind of environmental suit or a protective force field or something. People say that they can feel heat radiating from it. Technology, Man! What? They got Wal-Marts in Heaven?”

Newly Born Again Guy took offense at that. “God makes the robes! And everything else the Angels need. It glows with the Word of God! Seraphim are the Voice of God, that’s their job, you’ll see. Soon. And then it’ll be too late!”

“Oh come on, does God run a heavenly laundromat too? To keep the clothes clean?”

I almost laughed, but more because I was scared clean through. Still am.

“Don’t be stupid!” Born Again was getting pretty shrill at this point and John told him to settle down, so the guy started in on John. “How can you not see it? You think they came in a spaceship? What spaceship? Every telescope in the world has been looking for two weeks. There’s nothing up there. Nothing!”

“OK,” John said, still trying to be reasonable. “Then what is it?”

“What we’re seeing is the door to Heaven opening.” Born Again was totally convinced of what he was saying.

Geeky Guy wasn’t though, “Look! Look at it, at its face.” He pointed at the TV.

No kidding, right? As if we’d been looking at anything else all morning.

“No, Man, really look at it. Look at the eyes, the shape of the head. And those wings, fucking six wings, Man, and those sure as hell aren’t fucking bird wings. Look at them, they look like a cross between dragonfly wings and an energy field. That ain’t human. It looks more like an insect, the hive queen or something. It’s a fucking termite. Look at it standing there. It hasn’t moved in hours! Like a spider waiting for a fly. I wish it would move. I bet it moves just like an insect.”

I thought for a minute Born Again was going to hit Geeky Dude, but he didn’t. He wanted to reason with us. “How’d it get there? Huh? Where’s its space shuttle? It just appeared! Bang! Right in the middle of the city. In front of the Columna de la Independencia! The Angel of the Independence! El Angel! The Angel! How do you explain that!”

Geeky Guy made a sound like he was in pain. “It’s a big fucking open space in the middle of the city, you dolt! You can see it from orbit! Where the hell else would they land! But, if you're right, how come the damned thing didn’t appear in front of the Vatican? Or in Jerusalem?”

“God doesn’t answer to me!” Born Again was completely pissed now. “And he sure doesn’t answer to you! His Messengers go where He sends them, according to His plan, not yours!”

Things were getting pretty tense and it was getting on my nerves. But John just laughed, “Well, I’ll tell you all one thing – Angels or aliens, whatever, they’d better have their papers in order if they try to cross from Mexico into the US. Those ICE guys are assholes!”

Everybody laughed, even Born Again Guy, but I don’t think we’ll be laughing for long. That creature is here for a reason.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 2:23 PM


Tuesday, August 25, 2019

I am at a loss for words. John too. We watched the video this morning, we’re watching it right now. There are a dozen people crowed into the café, and more coming in off the street looking for a big screen. Outside people are standing in the middle of the street staring into their phones. People are crying. Hell, I’m crying.

I don’t what to think. They are Angels, or close enough that it doesn’t matter.

Seraphim. It's a Seraphim. I had to look it up to make sure I remembered right – and the talking head on CNN just said basically the same thing. The live video from Mexico City washes out every time the camera points directly at it. It glows. People are saying that the light is blinding. But I found a dozen pictures on the net where you can see the wings clearly enough. Six of them and that makes it a Seraphim. They are nothing like the pictures I saw in Sunday school.

Wow! The light changed, dimmed a little, I think they just put some kind of filter over the lens. You can see the creature, the Angel, at least a little. God, it’s beautiful. I can make out its face, just a little, and the horn. Christ, it’s holding a horn, a long trumpet, like in the paintings of the Archangel Gabriel. My God, what if it is Gabriel?

This is amazing. Incredible. I don’t even know how to describe it. John hasn’t said a word, he just keeps looking at me and shaking his head. I know how he feels, I can’t catch my breath. The reporter just broke away to the studio for a minute; she’s saying that there are now reports from other cities. At least four other confirmed reports of, what? Sightings? Arrivals? Manifestations? Hell, I don’t know. New Delhi, Tehran, and I didn’t catch the last one. Mexico City is so far the only Seraphim, the others are different. And now they’re saying that there are more Angels appearing in Mexico City. I’m going to log off here. I can’t watch and type at the same time and nobody is reading this anyway.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 8:03 AM

Only a matter of time

Monday, August 24, 2019

I suppose it was only a matter of time until people started seeing angels.

Here, this morning’s top story was from Mexico City. I guess something like a hundred people saw an Angels in a corn field outside of town. Halo, wings, robes, blinding white light – the whole works. The boarder crossing is jammed with people headed south to view the ‘Miracle.’

“Yeah,” John said, “and funny how not one of them had a dammed camera isn’t it? A couple of Black Rivers knock the shit out of some citizen in front of City Hall, and there are ten different clips of it on YouTube within five minutes. Angels? And nobody has a phone handy. Give it an hour and some old lady will have a cheese sandwich with a moldy Virgin Mary on one side.”

I guess. But there were a hundred witnesses. And there are a dozen other reports from around the world this afternoon. I don’t for one minute think that people are really seeing Angels, but they’re seeing something.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 6:18 PM


Saturday, August 22, 2019

I started this journal for a number of reasons.

One, because I felt I needed a form of confession. Truthfully, in the last two weeks, I’ve come to see that this was probably somewhat misguided on my part, I find that knowing others are actually reading my words, tempers what I say. I didn’t know if I could be completely truthful, and I still don’t. Confession requires a particular kind of self-honesty, which is why it is done in private to an anonymous father-confessor. Confession requires humility, something that I struggle with. I’ve tried over the last ten years to be honest with myself, but it is a painful experience and one that I’m not very good at (see? I’m trying to be honest with you here). Re-reading what I have written, I see that I have been avoiding certain things. As I get more comfortable with this process, I hope that I may be able to write more than just observations on the world around me, instead I hope to be able to put into words the things that I feel – and do it honestly.

And two, because a prison psychologist once recommended that I keep a journal. She said, if I remember right, that by putting my thoughts and experiences down on paper I would have to examine each one – and that self-examination is the beginning of self-healing. I don’t know, at the time it sounded pretty ‘new age’ to me. And putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper in prison creates vulnerability. Both your fellow inmates and the guards always have reason to use your words against you, so you learn damned quick to keep your mouth shut.

Yesterday, someone named Elizabeth left a comment. This is the first time that I realized that people may actually be reading what I write and it has made me think a bit more about myself. Last night, for the first time, I really started to think about how I got here, and what I am trying to do with this journal. And I have sat up all night thinking about it, and thinking about what’s going on in the world right now. I can’t see the comet, the sky is hazy and there is too much light, but I know it’s up there. Scientists are saying that it’s not a material object at all, definitely not a comet, but I don’t know what else to call it. ‘The Big Blue Fuzzy Light in the Sky” seems a little clunky. The best I can gather from what I’ve read is that they seem to think it has something to do with ‘tearing superstrings and the gravitational manifestation of a Dark Matter collapse.” I have absolutely no idea what that means, and I can find a dozen other interpretations including a number of mainstream news organizations that have reports taken directly from Revelations. Biblical or scientific, both seem to agree that there is a significant danger to Earth and there doesn’t seem much we can do about it either way – other than to pray I guess. Maybe it’s just me, but it truly does seem as if the world is on the edge of an abyss.

And so, I will try to be honest with you, Elizabeth.

I said that people seem to find it funny that not so long ago politicians and Soldiers swore an oath of service to a piece of paper. Kids today seem to find that kind of idealism amusing. I guess I never realized that doctors swear an oath too, an oath to an ideal. Your comment made me think about my own ideals – and I realized that for the most part I just don’t have much in the way of passionate ideals anymore. I did once; I joined the military and went off to war because I believed that it was the right thing to do. Oh sure, like most young kids who volunteered in those days, it wasn’t entirely about idealism, maybe not even mostly about idealism. My mom used to say that I was full of wind, shit, and excitement, and truthfully I saw the Army as a way to raise hell and bust heads without having to suffer the consequences. Combat didn’t much change that. But the Army did instill in me a strong sense of idealism by introducing me to the concepts of Honor and Duty and Patriotism. Later after I had returned home and become a cop, I clung to those ideals. In those days, it was not illegal to publically disagree with the President, and there were many who did just that. And it infuriated me, I had fought for this country and somehow seeing those protestors felt like a slap in the face. And so my misplaced idealism led me to join Shelly Watson and her band of vigilantes - and ultimately to the murder of people we saw as unpatriotic. It was only after we were caught and brought up on charges of domestic terrorism and I had to look the families of those we killed in the eye, that I began to have doubts. And by then it was too late. You know, of course, that Shelly was convicted and went to Gitmo and died there a year later of a heart attack during “questioning”. I don’t know if she regretted the path that her life took, I never spoke to her again after we were arrested. But I damned sure regretted it, and yes, to be perfectly honest with you, at first I only regretted that I had been caught. I still thought that what we were doing was right, but maybe we hadn’t gone about it in the right way. Shelly’s conviction made me realize that people, even those that maybe held the same views we did, saw us as terrorists. And, now, I realize that many people still see us as no better than the Jihadists who destroyed the first Washington Monument. Eventually, of course, they let the rest of us ‘co-conspirators’ plead to murder and conspiracy charges and Feds dropped the domestic terrorism rap and turned the whole mess over to the state – they had Shelly and they didn’t need us any more.

In prison I met a lot of people who were there because they’d spent their whole lives making excuses, and rationalizing that their situation was somebody else’s fault. They spent their whole lives blaming society, or poverty, or their parents, or something for their situation. I once had a cellee who was in for killing his girlfriend, and he said over and over again, “Bitch had it coming, I’d do it again – only next time I do it right.” At first, I felt a sense of smug superiority to those convicts. I’d been a soldier, a cop. But after a while, I started to realize that I wasn’t any different at all – in fact I was probably worse, because I should have known better. I did a lot of soul searching, and despite all my rationalizations, I began to realize that what we did was dishonorable and that I had never really understood what duty meant.

Nowadays military men swear allegiance to the President. There is no room for ambiguity; it isn’t left up to Soldiers to determine what the Constitution means. And I guess that’s a good thing.

And me? I guess I’ve left idealism behind. Idealism is a young man’s passion. I’m just trying to get by.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 05:32 AM

Curfew and Cabbages

Friday, August 22, 2019

A couple of cops (not BR’s, but actual city beat cops) came in this morning right after we opened.

They didn’t look at me twice, city cops don’t get the fancy networked helmets and smart-ware that the private security forces do, apparently, at least not rookie foot patrollers anyway.

They ordered coffee and talked to John about putting up a curfew notice in the front window. We’d heard about the curfew already, of course. It was all over the local news this morning. There’s been looting down by the Navy base where the lights are still out and there was some kind of prayer rally in Balboa Park that turned ugly when the cops tried to break it up. The news didn’t call it a ‘riot’ exactly, but you could tell that was because somebody in Homeland Security told them not too.

I could tell John was pissed about the curfew in general, but there’s not much we can do about it. You’ve just got to love the Homeland Permanent Emergency Act, don’t you? So anyway he took the flyer and had me tape it to the front door – and he charged the cops double for their coffee, I don’t think he wants them coming back. After they left he said that it was probably better if people knew what the rules were, rather than get their heads busted because they ran out to get a 6-pack before the late show.

So, we’re under curfew between 10 PM and 6 AM. It’s not nearly as bad as the one the Feds imposed during the Peace Riots. And it doesn’t really bother me, because, well, I guess I’m used to being restricted after lights out, or just restricted in general. John was fairly fired up over it though.

“Goddamnit, Van,” he said. “How much more of this shit are Americans going to put up with? Tell me that?”

I didn’t have an answer, and I don’t think he expected one. I mean, what’s to say? The HPEA has been in place for what? Seven, eight years now and Americans are getting used it. Used to being in a permanent state of war. Used to following orders. It’s amazing to me how much has changed since I was a kid. Hell, when I was in the Army we used to swear our oaths to the Constitution, not personal loyalty to the President like they do now (Yeah, yeah, I understand why that was necessary). Nowadays people think that’s funny – swearing allegiance to a piece of paper. I don’t know, it didn’t seem funny to me back then, but things were different. I guess I was different. Congress doesn’t even talk any more about canceling the Emergency, and it’s not like talk would mean anything anyway, unless it’s the President doing the talking. So I just don’t see much point in bitching about it. And Stauch and the HPEA have made America a safer place, you have to admit that. I said something along those lines to John, and he looked at me like I’d lost my mind – but he’s a generation older than I am and I think he’s still living in the past.

We’re still cleaning up from the quake, but fortunately we haven’t had any more. It’s worse up north I guess. LA is under martial law (which should hardly be different from the norm, I doubt Angelinos will even notice). Not much news coming out of Anchorage today, but you can tell its bad up there. I saw Stauch on TV at Camp David, but didn’t catch the whole speech, just the part about staying calm and working together. He looked worried though, tired.

One of John's produce suppliers came by in the afternoon. He didn't have much, only about a quarter of what we'd ordered. And the prices have gone up again. I understand that it's different in the Midwest and the North where people can grow gardens, but here in SoCal the only place you can grow vegetables on a large scale in the San Joaquin. And the cost of water and Union labor have tripled in the last couple of years, according to John, and without the Mexicans a lot of commercial farms are going out of business. Coupled with the price of fuel (diesel is $10.15 a gallon here this week), and you just can't get produce any more. People have been trying to farm rooftops in the city, but there's only so much room - so people are forced to choose between solar panels or gardens. The supplier had a couple of bags of onions and a bunch of cabbages, and not much of anything else. John had me making coleslaw all afternoon while he was on the phone trying to find another supplier. I could tell he wasn't having much luck. He went out later and came back with a couple gallons of vinegar, so I guess we'll be making sauerkraut tomorrow.

If the current craziness would just slack off for a couple of months, maybe the country could catch its breath. I've been thinking that maybe I'd go by St. Mary's tomorrow and light a candle, it couldn't hurt.

Posted by VanDerDecken at 10:36 PM