The angel touched down lightly on the sand. A supremely beautiful face made Sara want to cry with joy.
“I am Barachiel, chief of the guardian angels. You are Sara Bass?”
Sara nodded. “What can I do for you?”
“The Lords of Hell screwed up and allowed an evil soul to escape to Earth. Now we have to clean up their mess.”
“Oh. Sounds awful. What do you want me to do?”
“Go back to Earth as part of a search team,” Barachiel said. “The soul belongs to a serial killer, and he has started to kill again. It’s a uniquely important assignment.”
“I guess you know my background. I was a medical examiner for many years.”
“We picked you because of your background.”
“We?” Sara said.
“The Council of Light.”
The enormous magnitude of the situation was dawning on Sara. Of all the many millions of souls in Heaven, the Council had chosen her to return to Earth.
“Does this kind of thing happen often?”
“It has never happened before,” Barachiel said. “This search team concept is completely new. It might be a disaster, but we don’t have any other options. Regular angels aren’t suited for something like this. Hell is sending its own representatives. Try to be polite even if they smell bad.”
Sara wrinkled her nose.
“And of course, you can come back to Heaven any time you want,” Barachiel added. “If the job proves too much for you, we can find a replacement.”
“I’m sure that won’t be necessary.” Sara was looking forward to doing something useful again. “But how did this happen? I didn’t think it was possible to escape from Hell.”
Barachiel shrugged its beautiful shoulders. “I’m sure incompetence was the cause. Demons are so consumed by sinful thoughts they can’t think clearly. Regardless, it’s a big mess now. With all the bickering and accusations, you would think the Apocalypse had arrived.”
Sara doubted the explanation was so simple.
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