Stream of Consciousness

Zen looked over at her brother in shock. “I can’t believe that you stirred up the human stream of consciousness and now a demon has escaped hell! That’s not good, Chaos.”

Chaos spoke in a casual tone, without taking his eyes from the events below. “All thirteen of them would have come through with the way it was before.”

“Oh,” Zen said, returning her own eyes back to what was happening on earth.

Shayde looked up at his father after the angels had left. “What now, Father?”

Belial blew out a sigh of frustration but then asked, “Have you gathered money as I have asked?”

Shayde nodded. “Hooligan hacked into multiple banks and installed a program to steal the portions of a cent from what the bank steals from the customers. It’s not a lot each day but over the course of a year, with multiple bank accounts, we have managed to acquire over six million dollars which we have split in half, one to an account in the Cayman Isles and the other to a Swiss Bank Account. Hooligan and I can also acquire physical money from vaults whenever we need but this way there is no tracing of where the money went, or even noticing it gone. We were smart enough to keep switching banks before any sign of foul-play could be seen to avoid any suspicion or investigation. Though even if they did investigate, we left no digital fingerprints behind.”

“Clever boys,” Belial said with a smile, then added. “This body maintains it’s memories. But any home or vehicle the man once had is likely destroyed. The entire parking lot of the gas plant went up due to the gas lines beneath, and I doubt there’s a building standing that isn’t on fire or damaged from flying debris from the explosions, and everything else remaining is in complete ruins. But we don’t need to reside in this town. We can go anywhere. You have the bank debit cards?”

Shayde shook his head. “Not debit cards. A credit card issued by each bank and I’ve also memorized the account numbers and passwords for an electronic withdrawal. I got a laptop in my backpack.” He shrugged the shoulder holding the backpack. “I also have a couple hundred in cash I keep on hand for spending money.”

Belial glanced around and noticing military vehicles on the roads now simply nodded and said, “This place has likely been declared a state of emergency from the looks of things. Let’s see if we can’t find some transportation out of town. I’m sure they’ll be sending people to another town or city for medical care and temporary housing. So, we behave like any other survivor and take advantage of the charity of our fellow humans.”

“Except we’re not human,” Shayde started to point out but his father cuffed his head and leaned down low, close to his face. “We are human as far as anyone knows, boy. I know we’re not really human. There’s no need to state the obvious.”

Shayde frowned, rubbing his sore head. Apparently, his father’s pleasure in his work had worn off. It had been nice while it lasted but Shayde was familiar enough with his father to know that any compliments given were fleeting and would quickly be replaced by wrath should he say or do the wrong thing.

“I’m starving. I hope the Red Cross has donuts,” Hooligan said in response to everything. “They usually do. We might even get a whole meal out of them with this big of a disaster.”

Shayde added, “And we can collect from whatever insurance the man whose body you have had, and if he didn’t have insurance FEMA will probably be involved and offer compensation of some sort. Maybe even in addition to.”

Belial nodded in agreement but added. “It’ll be a long time before this city has rebuilt itself. We’ll find a home far from here. The man whose body I have taken is estranged from his abusive, drunken father and he has no other kin. Dean Walters is his name. Though I think it will be worthwhile to change our names. I’ll empty his bank account before I do that. I have his account and any password information from his memories. He doesn’t have much but no reason to let it go to waste.”

“But I don’t want to change my name,” Hooligan protested. That earned him a cuff to the head, as well. “You’re not in the system, ghost. There’s no need for you to change your name. But the man whose body this is, is on record, as is my son as he was registered in school.”

“I was registered at school too. I hacked into the registration program for both me and Shayde,” Hooligan responded which made Belial sigh. “We’ll just change our surnames, not our first names. Unless we want to. I don’t much care for Dean.”

“Oh, okay. Can I be your son, like Shayde? Hooligan then asked. “Then we can be brothers for real.”

Belial shrugged, uncaring and in fact, the ghost would probably come in handy in the future. For what exactly, he didn’t know. Right now, his focus was on merely establishing a safe identity and base of operations. Then he could turn his attention on how to spend his time on Earth. He hadn’t really even had the time yet to appreciate that he was truly free of Hell. He could only imagine how pissed off the other twelve were in being thwarted from their freedom. He would have been furious. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the arrangement he had made with God and his angel just yet but evaluating that at a deeper level was low on his list of priorities.

Hooligan did a fist pump in response to Belial’s non-committal shrug. “Yes! We’re brothers, Shayde! Can I pick our surname? How about Finnegan? That goes well with Hooligan.” Belial cuffed the poltergeist’s head again. “No. I will choose our surname. Stop your prattle now, boy. I’m thinking.”

Hooligan sighed but decided that it was better to comply than to continue getting his head cuffed, though he did whisper to Shayde, “Your father hits hard.” Shayde glanced up at his father and nodded in response, which made Belial smile a little, having overheard.

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