This book teaser comprises the entirety of Chapter 1 of my published book Diangeli Arising: Sanctuary
Chapter 1 ~
Once the earth-changes settled down, the Diangeli knew they would soon have to set to the task of hunting and gathering a food source for themselves. All of them had eaten during the initial chaos, but Maggie, in particular, was going to need to feed daily, as she still was a very young vampire. She had much more control than she had in the beginning, but she wasn’t yet at the point where she could be trusted alone with the survivors in the underground shelter. It would be several more years before she reached that stage of self-control; as it took about a decade, with training.
Delaney kept his focus on his assigned job. Once the violent humans had all been killed, and after working to calm the remaining frightened humans, he began to organize them according to their abilities.
He quickly found the healers and set them to work attending any injuries. And any therapists, he turned the work of calming frayed nerves and emotions over to; their focus on the others, taking their minds off their frayed nerves and emotions. Delaney also selected a few people who appeared to be holding together fairly well to assist him in managing the others before setting one of them to counting heads and taking names.
The human and morphed-race survivors in the underground shelter would have access to the food that Delaney and the Diangeli had gathered in preparation; enough to feed a group of one thousand for three years, rationing the meals to once a day. So, he needed to know how many survivors there were, and then add on to the list as more came in, to ensure they didn’t overpopulate their sanctuary.
If any of the morphed-races had special eating requirements, those beings would be put on the menu for the Diangeli, as otherwise, they would be dying a slow death of starvation.
Peter took a similar role of counting heads from the morphed-race group near the entrance of the shelter and then relayed the information back to Delaney telepathically for inventory purposes. Until they were sure the two groups would get along, they had quickly separated the humans and morphed-races.
Peter left off taking any names, however, as he didn’t care what they called themselves. They were merely potential food sources to him if things got bad. He had no desire getting to know any of them any more than he had his human food in the past. Delaney could get their names later.
Peter had quickly realized that everyone he was questioning was telepathic, as they didn’t respond in English when he spoke but were able to understand what he was saying. So, he relayed the information that everyone appeared to be telepathic to Delaney after checking to see if the humans with him were the same. He didn’t have to tell the other Diangeli or Michael/Belial as they quickly came to the same conclusion on their own.
But the new telepathy of the humans and morphed-races was only in regards to understanding one another, not regarding reading each other’s minds.
When Peter finished counting heads, Razakel pulled him aside, speaking in a low tone, “Begin searching the city for useful supplies to bring back. Find a wagon or a large tarp or something to carry it back in. If you find survivors send Lek their location and he can start teleporting them back here.”
Razakel then turned to De’Marcus, who was standing nearby. “De’Marcus, you go with Peter to make sure we don’t bring any more insane ones back here; at least not yet. I’m going to see if I can find a natural corral for the crazy ones near the surface until we’re ready to move the entire group further down inside the shelter. We will use those types as food if we can keep them from killing each other.”
Razakel, lastly, turned to his father. He had noted the marked difference in him but did not ask for details. “Father? Can you assist me? Maybe we can find another cavern system to create a temporary holding cell for the insane ones.”
Michael/Belial nodded. He felt weary, but he would eventually need to eat, too, so this would benefit him as well. Michael’s personality rebelled against the horror that suddenly entered their mind, only now just realizing that their internal digestive physiology was mostly demonic, which required the consumption of raw meat. So, he fervently hoped that some animals might have survived. Where the Diangeli had fed during the initial chaos, Michael/Belial had not, as they had been too busy finding an emotional and mental balance to their sudden merge.
Belial—to shut Michael up in his head—suggested to Razakel, “Maybe we can find some surviving animals as well and corral them too. I will need raw meat, and Michael doesn’t feel he can “stomach” that to be human or morphed-race meat.” Belial then chuckled in amusement.
Razakel nodded, and the two took off, leaving Lekazar in charge of the morphed-race group in the shelter, as Peter and De’Marcus had already left after receiving their instructions.
Unaffected by the ash, acid rain, and cold surface temperature, the full-blooded dragons also did not appear to suffer any ill effects from the emotional and mental changes that others were going through. So, they did not join in any of the battles that were occurring with the demonic-angels. Their survival was the priority.
The dragons who were hungry ate any who were foolish enough to attack them, and there were plenty who fit that category. After they had eaten their fill, some of the dragons gathered up the recently dead and dying for future food. Other dragons began digging out a series of dragon weyrs for their homes in the eastern cliff side of a giant gorge; the same gorge that Michael and Belial had met in battle before merging into a single entity.
Razakel and Michael/Belial, watching the dragons digging weyrs for themselves high up in the cliffside across the gorge from where they were, decided that would be a good way to contain the insane ones—temporarily. They would have no way to escape other than to leap to their deaths, and even as crazy as some of them were, they doubted that the majority would choose that option.
Besides, the holding caverns were only temporary. They had a secure area deeper within the shelter, but their focus was on securing food at the moment. Later they’d transfer them to the inner holding area.
Razakel noticing that the dragons were sticking to the far side of the chasm for their weyrs, telepathically communicated with an enormous bronze wyrm, and stated their intention of placing their food storage in temporary holes in the western cliffside.
The old wyrm, telepathically and visually assessing Razakel and the demonic-angel on the other side of the chasm, wisely agreed on a tentative treaty.
The dragons would stick to the eastern side of the chasm and hunt to the east, and the others would have the western side of the chasm and keep their activities to the western side of the newly formed Missouri Island—the largest of a chain of nine islands remaining of North and South America. He saw no reason to engage in combat fighting over resources when there was a gorge separating them, and the ground was littered with the dead and dying all around them.
Jessica, assigned to keep an eye on Maggie, had slipped out ahead of the others, intending on focusing on finding survivors in the local vicinity of what had once been Springfield, Missouri. But when Peter and De’Marcus ran into them, Peter set Jessica and Maggie looking for supplies while they took over seeking out any survivors by scent and through telepathic communication. With De’Marcus’ ability to be able to read the emotional state of the survivors, it made sense to swap tasks.
Samantha was also locating nearby survivors using her clairvoyant ability; which she now had under full control. So, when they ran into her—with her assistance—Peter and De’Marcus began selecting those who were non-violent as new community members to their sanctuary, with any who were violent to be placed in the holding area as the Diangeli and vampire food source.
Lekazar remained locally to transport the survivors that the others found to the sanctuary. So, after speaking to the dragons, Michael/Belial remained to create the temporary holding areas in the cliffside, while Razakel slipped into the shadow plane to locate survivors outside of the range that the others would be hunting. He could travel anywhere in the world looking for survivors, through the shadows, and return quickly with them through the magical portals that he and his brother had learned to create.
And when found, he would either place them with Delaney’s or Lekasar’s group, depending on whether they were human or morphed-race or with his father at the temporary cliffside holding areas, if unstable.
Out of respect for the newly made treaty with the dragons, Razakel stayed away from the eastern portion of the Missouri Island. Even with the landmass around the world drastically reduced, there was still enough where there would be survivors elsewhere; at least for a few days.