The Metatronic Chronicles
What would you do if one day you suddenly became a powerful angel?
In the Metatronic Universe, there is no one single diety governing angels. Heaven and Hell are located in a spatial void that exists outside of what we understand as our universe, but are right next door to each other. Managing Hell is a painful, sweaty and boring job that no one wants to do so assignments there are doled out as punishment. Heaven is only a temporary assignment to a processing center for souls of all kinds to be reassigned to new lives or put on a track toward angelhood. Angelic assignment outside of this "Void" is a plum job as it involves the creation and populating of entire galaxies and the worlds within, which gives angels the utmost freedom to wander.
On Earth, also created by the "Metatronic Project", Metatron himself and his descendents live throughout Earth's history, being reborn as human and/or angel again and again as needed, until finally Metatron emergeces once more from his human self on his final immortal reincarnation.
Michael and Daniel Wilder are normal teenage boys who live in a small Wisconsin town, trying to keep up with school, meet girls, play their music and keep their parents off their backs. When an unexpected tragedy whisks them off into the lives they are destined for before they are ready, they find themselves in a fantastic world of angels, swordplay and adventure. However, with school still needing to be attended to, a baby on the way and being expected to fulfill new responsibilities, things become very complicated. In addition, the new baby just happens to be Metatron, creator of the universes, chief of all angels and a general pain in the ass.
Excerpt: Chapter 2
Michael initially felt a lot of pain in his head. Daniel's voice came to him. "Mike! Wake up!" His neck and face felt as if they were in flames, but slowly he opened his eyes and was surprised to find himself floating in what seemed to be a black cloud in the night sky, surrounded by stars. Daniel's voice was coming from somewhere beyond the cloud. He tried to say his brother's name, but nothing came out of his throat. Suddenly, a figure was directly in front of him. "Mike!"
If Michael could have screamed, he would have. Daniel's face had been blown completely away, but he didn't seem to be aware of it. "Can you talk?" Daniel asked, his voice coming from a raw, bloody cavern, all that was left of what had been a mouth. "Jeezus, you look awful!"
Michael shook his head as he telepathed "I can't talk. Do I have a mouth?"
"Of course you have a mouth! But your throat and the left half of your face is gone!" Daniel looked around, using the one bit of eyeball he had left. The other eye was completely destroyed. "I'm not sure what happened. What is this place?" He gathered the shreds of his cotton t-shirt to himself. "It's cold here but I can't see my breath. Weird."
Michael suddenly realized that Daniel didn't know his face was gone. In fact, the burning pain of his own horrible wound was fading away very rapidly. Yet, he didn't feel as if he had died. Experimentally, he tried to talk again and found that he could manage a very weak raspy sound in his throat. "What happened to us?" He rattled out to his brother.
There was no response for a moment as his brother turned away in shame. After some time, Daniel finally answered. "Blankenship. He killed his wife and then killed us. You were right. He was trouble. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you." He glanced back over at Michael, who saw that some of his face seemed to have grown back--he had eyes now. "You're getting better," Daniel commented as he noticed that Michael too was healing. "Your throat is nearly closed up."
"Then are we dead? I don't feel dead!" Michael tried to touch his throat but there was still some pain so he left it alone. "Are they going to go after mom and dad?"
"I don't know." Daniel looked around, suddenly realizing that they weren't any place that could be the planet Earth. "Um, where are we if we're not dead?" He took an experimental step forward and found that his foot punched right through the cloud. "And how are we...? " His telepathic voice faded as he looked downward. "Holy shit! Look at that!"
Michael followed his gaze and was shocked to see what was obviously the planet Earth floating below them, far enough away to see the curvature of the horizon. The black cloud they were on was dissipating and nearly gone. Gravity began pulling at them and the planet started getting closer. They were falling back to earth!
Daniel glanced back at his brother just in time to see him go floating downward and then felt his own body begin the descent. "What do we do?" He heard Michael's frantic voice in his head. "We must be over 100,000 feet up!" "
Just float down, I guess," Daniel answered, his gut tightening. "We survived the shotgun, we seemed to survive in a near vacuum. Maybe we'll survive this too." He looked over at his brother. "By the way, your face is completely healed."
Michael looked back, nodding. "Yours too," he answered back. He was glad to see Daniel's clear eyes intact and in place where they belonged. "Somebody has a lot of 'splainin' to do if we don't burn up in the atmosphere!" He managed to shift his trajectory a bit and managed to get within reach of his brother. "Grab my hand! If we burn up, we burn together!"
Earth began moving more rapidly toward them and as they hit atmosphere, things began heating up. The two brothers kept looking at each other until the atmospheric friction built up into a wild flaming fireball around them and kept its path toward the planet true and stable until it plunged straight into the Pacific Ocean's Marianas Trench, the deepest area of any ocean on earth.
But the water didn't put the flames out and the fireball continued nearly 5000 feet into the depths before it finally came to a fizzling halt, dissipating into nothingness. What was left started toward the surface, breaking out of the waves nearly thirty minutes after first entering.
Daniel was the first to emerge and came out with a gasping shout. "Michael!" He yelled vocally. "Mike! Come out!! Come on!!" The waves were huge and kept washing over him as he fought to keep afloat in cold darkness. He took a moment to look around, seeing nothing but ocean where ever he looked. Then something else broke the surface near him and he eagerly sought out the face of his brother. "Michael!"
The dark shape in the water drew close and despite the water in his eyes, Daniel's vision was clear enough to tell him that something had happened to his brother. The form reared up and a giant pair of black wings unfolded, carrying it slightly out of the water with great broad sweeps of glistening feathers.
Daniel froze, uncomprehending as it suddenly reached down and snatched him up in strong hands. His final memory before blacking out again was being carried back up into the sky at a rapid rate by something that was beyond comprehension. The ocean became a memory and then there was nothing.
"Ok, come out of it." The next thing Daniel heard was Michael's voice through the enveloping darkness. It seemed deeper than before and a gentle hand was caressing his forehead. "You've had a rough few hours but it's time to face the truth. Wake up, Daniel."
"You're talking funny," Daniel managed to say as he spit up a bit of salt water. "Where are we?" His eyes opened, but things were hazy and out of focus. "I can't see."
A hand touched his eyes and his vision cleared up instantly, bringing a vaguely familiar face into view. It looked somewhat like his brother, but somehow, bigger and more imposing. An immense cascade of shining black waves tied back by a leather thong replaced the shaggy hair and the smiling face he knew so well was even darker. He noticed several healed scars on its cheeks. The eyes were the familiar black but shone like diamonds. Most imposing was a pair of glistening black-feathered giant wings on his brother's back. It was Michael, but not the Michael he knew. He felt his voice quivering as he asked, "Who are you?"
"I am Michael," the angel answered. "The teenager Michael Leighton Wilder was burned away and I was left behind."
"Burned away?" Daniel felt terror rising in his throat. Despite his own intimidating stature, he would be nothing to this giant being before him. "What do you mean by that?"
"Only the physical shell is gone. So is yours--look." Michael held him up so he could see his reflection in a little mirror that appeared from nowhere. His own face looked back at him but at the same time the face was that of a stranger. Again it was a giant angel, looking rather beaten up, but very much like the one who replaced his brother. "You've retained his memories, his personality, a bit more than I have. I guess I must have hit the surface harder or something but I'm sure I'll get him back." He lifted Daniel upward into a sitting position. "I found you in the water and brought you home."
"Home?" Daniel looked around but saw nothing that looked like home. Instead, it was just a big vaguely pink nothingness and they were floating in it. "This doesn't look like home to me," he commented nervously, and then jumped as he saw something move beneath him--another giant wing, this one covered with shimmering golden feathers that curled up slightly at the ends.
"What happened? What happened to Michael? What happened to us?" He shifted suddenly and his brother appeared to spin away for an instant, but he felt steady hands bring him back to bear.
He saw the shadow of his brother's former being pass over Michael's face for a moment. Then the angel answered him, his words chosen carefully. "When Blankenship shot us, the shotgun blast was fatal to our human bodies. Our angelic selves came forward and healed us but the descent back to Earth was too much to repair and our human bodies were physically burned away."
Daniel just stared at him, uncomprehending.
Michael tried again. "Let me put it this way. We're fine. We're healthy. We're just joined with our angelic sides again now. My angel's name is Michael and yours is Daniel, as before."
Daniel suddenly closed his eyes. "I'm asleep at home. I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming or I died and I'm dead or I'm crazy or something!" Tears began to well up. "I can't be dead. I can't be gone "
Michael quickly took him in a hug. "You aren't dead! You are alive and well and if you wanted, you could go home to reconstruct your body and live your life as you did before!"
Daniel suddenly pushed him away. "What? I can go home and just go on as if nothing happened?"
"You can, but you won't be the same, not really. It took a long time to become buried so deep in the Wilder family so that you could be born and reborn again to live as a human." Michael gave him a loving caress to his forehead, brushing away suddenly longer, thicker locks falling into his face. "You'll be better. Still an asshole, but better."
Daniel's thoughts went back to his parents, his home and his life in a place that seemed so long ago now and his eyes filled with tears. Was this what it was like to be dead or was this strange being who looked like his brother right and he could just somehow get back home?
Michael looked around the vast expanse of bright pinkish nothingness. "I have a feeling that there should be countless numbers of us here but there's only you and I, which makes me think we are not to stay here. And I do remember one thing very clearly and that is how to get back to Earth!" He pulled his brother close, spread his wings and together they faded away into darkness again.
The next thing Daniel saw was his home on Earth coming up quickly at him as it did before, but the terror was gone. With Michael's encouragement, he spread his wings and was surprised to feel the atmosphere push up on him, slowing him so drastically that he was torn from his brother's arms.
Instinctively, his wings moved slightly with the wind, his pelvis and legs acting as a rudder, bringing him slowly down to land alongside Michael in a clearing amid trees in Goose Lake County Park, near their home. "What about mom and dad?" He called through the wind. "Are they a target?
Michael seemed to concentrate on something else for a moment, and then shook his head. "No, Blankenship has gone to Chicago. He doesn't care about doing anything to them-it was you he wanted and when I came to help you, he got me too. He's left to go take care of some business. His wife is wrapped up in a big plastic tarp in his trunk and he's got his thugs with him."
"So what do we do about him?" Daniel asked. "Do we just let him get away with it? He killed three people!"
"Two of which didn't really die" Michael reminded him. "For his wife he should pay dearly, I agree, but even now authorities have picked them up and they are in Cook County Jail. The body was found so the charge is murder...and speeding."
Daniel's eyes grew hard and empty as he and his brother began walking out of the park. "I want to kill them. I can do it, can't I? Is that within my power?"
"If your �power' consists of basic whackings, yes. You have the power." Michael spotted a car coming down the road and recognized a neighbor, Charlie Keene, on his way home. "Quick, do as I do!" His wings suddenly disappeared and he shrank back down to human size, looking just as he had before.
Daniel just stared at him. "How the hell did you do that?"
"You can do it too. Just do it!" Michael watched his brother close his eyes, appear to think very hard and suddenly become young human Daniel Wilder again.
Daniel cast his eyes down and looked up with a shock. "Our clothes! They were burned away! How do we explain being out here naked?"
"Let me take care of that." A brief thought from Michael brought a t-shirt and jeans that Daniel recognized as being from his own closet. As he pulled them on, he saw Michael's own nearly identical shirt and jeans materialize on his body.
By then the car was close enough to wave down, which Daniel did. Keene was more than happy to pick up the two boys and deliver them home, not questioning how they came to be in the park in the first place. That was for their parents to find out.
Riding in the back seat of the sedan, Daniel began to speak telepathically to the angel again. "You're right. This feels like a costume, like it isn't really me."
"It is you. You'll have to get used to it for now but once we graduate, we have to go away. Mom and dad can't have two angels eating them out of house and home. Or wrecking the house with violent sex."
Daniel's ears perked up. "Sex? Angels can have sex?"
"Angels invented sex," Michael answered, "but to truly enjoy it, it has to be with our own kind."
"Oh." Daniel didn't like the sound of this. "So no sex with human girls? Where do we find our own kind?"
Michael sighed. "Good question. But I didn't say no sex with human girls, just that to truly enjoy it, sex with other angels is best."
"So you're saying, I could have sex with a human girl, but not like it?" Daniel didn't believe that one.
"Once you have sex with an angel...human sex is like...well...work! But that's all I remember," Michael lied, wanting to drop the subject. The last thing he wanted to do is have to get females for his brother to screw.
The car ride was only a few minutes long and presently both boys were standing in front of their mother. She was glaring at them. "Why aren't you in school? The school secretary called me-you two both disappeared after lunch and didn't go to any of your afternoon classes. Where did you go?"
"Um...we went to spend our lunch period at Goose Lake," Michael volunteered quietly, not wanting to upset her more. "With some friends. But they abandoned us there before we could get back to class. I guess they were pissed off at us or something."
"You know you are not to leave the campus during lunch hours, right?" Mary didn't know whether she should buy the story or not. "Whom did you go with? I want to call their parents."
"Oh shit!" Daniel shot a telepathic curse to his brother. "You're a rotten liar! Of course she's going to check on the story! Why didn't you tell her that we went alone?"
"Like she'd buy that too? Of course we'd go with girls!" Michael retorted the same way then spoke again to his mom. "Sorry mom, I lied. We went alone."
"Without girls?" Mary asked suspiciously. "Now why do I find that hard to believe? Michael, two lies is worse than one. Daniel, why did you go to Goose Lake? And it better be the truth!"
Daniel shot her a warm, heart-melting smile. "We just went to get away from school for awhile and chunk rocks out into the lake. Nothing else. Sorry, mom. We forgot the time and by the time we realized we were due back at school, it was too late to hoof it back in time. I guess we just messed up."
"Messed up?" Mary echoed, her gaze going from one to the other. "Well here is what happens when you �mess up'. You are both grounded for two weeks and will be spending your free time helping your dad. The rest of the time you will be in school doing what you are supposed to be doing or here at home where I can keep an eye on you. No girls, no messing up, no nothing. And if I hear that you leave the school grounds, are caught with a girl or doing any other shenanigans, I will ground you another two weeks. And two weeks more for any further nonsense, is that clear?" Mary was nearly two feet shorter than her boys but wielded a strong disciplinary hand with them. There would be no arguing with her.
"It's clear," both boys nodded sheepishly, resolving to lie better from now on.
Back in their rooms studying, Michael and Daniel kept up a telepathic dialogue even though they out of sight of each other. "How are we going to fly?" Daniel kept asking. "We're grounded! She'll keep us here for the rest of our lives if we screw up again."
"We can fly at night when they're sleeping," Michael answered. "If we get back before they wake up, no one's the wiser. We just have to keep our comings and goings covered from the neighbors!"
The door opened to reveal his mother glaring at him. "What happened to your clothes from this morning?" She asked in a flinty voice. "You were wearing your Wranglers and a brown Dad's Root Beer t-shirt this morning when you left. This afternoon you come home in Levis and a blue Ike's Bikes t-shirt. And your brother was in Levis this morning and a plain green t-shirt and now he comes home in a different pair of Levis and a plain yellow t-shirt."
Michael felt a stammer coming on. Their mom was very observant and he was stupid for not just recreating the same clothes instead of retrieving new ones. "Um...no reason. We just had these at school and changed after gym class. "
Michael felt the stammer begin to affect his speech but Daniel came to the rescue as he appeared behind Mary. "When we were walking to school this morning a big truck splashed some muck on us. Not bad but the dirt is caked in. The clothes are at school-we'll bring them home tomorrow."
Mary didn't trust this story but it was just possible that it was true. "I want to see those clothes home tomorrow," she finally said, turning away. "And if I ever catch you boys lying, you know what will happen."
"Yes mom," Michael nodded, watching her go.
Daniel went back to his room but shot a telepathic question at Michael as he went. "You can recreate those clothes can't you?"
"Yes, I can do it. Thanks for covering for me-I'm not as smart as I thought, I guess."
"You mean angels aren't all knowing and all that shit?"
"No. We are eternal but we are not omniscient. At least not you and I."
Daniel heard that answer as he lay down on his bed and watched the sun setting outside his window. So if angels weren't omniscient, then who was?