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A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


The Book of Enoch

Chapter 14 – Sticks and Stones

Professor Manatee sat at the large library table, the contents of the case file spread out in front of him like some morbid peacock fan.

“What we need,” he commented, “is a goal.”

Beth was wandering the bookshelves, though she refrained this time from touching any of Alvin’s unusual collection. She loved the smell of old books, and would sometimes peruse second-hand bookstores simply for the olfactory experience. The Professor’s books had all the usual paper smells, as well as a cacophony of more exotic scents. Spices such as cinnamon and curry were as common as the scorched odor of charcoal or ammonia.

“A goal?” She repeated. “Because exacting justice isn’t good enough?”

The man rested his chin lightly on his clenched hands as he watched her slow progress around the room. “What does that mean, Beth?” He asked. “We’re talking about immortal beings. They cannot be destroyed by any measure we are capable of, and do not experience emotions the same way you and I do. So… How can justice be served in this case?”

“There must be some way to hurt them,” she posited as she slowly climbed a rolling ladder to have better access to the higher shelves.

He shook his head as he watched her ascent. “They do not experience pain or any emotion as we know it in their current form. In fact, they often possess humans in order to gain access to our sensations and feelings. To them, possessing a human is the equivalent of us ‘dressing up’. It makes them feel more… alive.”

She resisted pulling down a very interesting title and instead focussed on something he had said.

“Their current form?”

“When the Watchers were originally tasked with guarding the humans, they were given the ability to take on corporal forms and were able to influence humankind directly, without permission. When it was found that they had rebelled against their charge, they were stripped of that ability.”

“They had bodies?” She asked, turning around and sitting on the top of the ladder. “What did they look like?”

“Human. Beautiful beyond compare.” He shrugged his shoulders. “They could appear however they choose, their appearance becoming whatever the beholder thought was ideal.”

Beth frowned, considering this. “A life without imperfections.” She had spoken more to herself than to the Professor, but he picked up on her words all the same.

“Indeed. Perhaps they recognized this difference in themselves, which could have been part of the reason they abandoned their charges.”

“I don’t follow you.”

“Think about it: you are an immortal being, given great authority and near omnipotence. Your only task is to see to the safety of another set of creatures… fragile and mortal… imperfect, yet possessing something that you, with all your power, can never have… a sense of loss, pain, pleasure. True emotion.”

“I’m still not sure I understand?”

“As mortals, Beth, we are capable of suffering. We know pleasure because we know pain. A member of the ‘angelic’ realm cannot experience this on their own.”

Suddenly, something he had said clicked. “Possession…”

The Professor nodded slowly. “Yes. By possessing the body of a human, they can temporarily experience our sensations, our suffering… our mortality. In a human body they are also protected from many of the wards that can keep them out in their non-corporal form.”

“God, that sucks.” She spat. “They’re just using us! Alvin, we have got to find a way to stop them…”

He stared up at her. “You’re serious?”

“Yes, I’m serious! Even with everything that was done to me, and knowing how dangerous these things are, every fiber of my being is telling me to stop them, to DO something!”

The man sighed, thinking. “Then, perhaps it is time we called in some help.”


“Alvin! Bless my soul, it’s really you.”

Beth sat just to the right of the Professor in front of the laptop. On the screen was one of the strangest and most beautiful women that she had ever seen. She looked to be about Beth’s own age or perhaps just a little older, with flaming red hair that was pulled and tied back. Her face was positively radiant, and to Beth, she was the kind of person that caused you to smile just by being in her presence. It was the deep feeling of ‘life’ that permeated her every tiny motion and facial expression. Her great-grandmother had been that way, and Beth found herself taking a deep breath, almost as though she could suck in the positive energy right through the computer.

“Hello, Kimi. You look well.” He replied.

The woman scrunched up her face. “I’ve not seen you in over a decade, and the best you can think of is ‘you look well’?!”

“I… er…”

“Oh, relax. I’m teasing you, little brother. You owe me that much.” Her gaze appeared to look at Beth directly. “And who is this? Introductions, Alvin…”

He straightened up a touch. “This is Detective LaHeron, of the New York Police Department.”

“Beth, please,” she interrupted.

“And you may call me Kimi. Police? My brother hasn’t gone and gotten himself into trouble with the law, has he?”

She laughed softly, delighting in the other’s British accent. “Not at all, in fact, Ma’am, he’s helping me with a case.”

“Really? How exciting!”

“Uh, Kimi… If I might ask, are you really Alvin’s older sister? I mean, he strikes me as about forty-five, but you… You hardly look any older than I do, and I’m not yet thirty!”

“Er, I don’t know if that is the kind of question one should ask of…” Interjected the Professor.

“Nonsense, Alvin. It’s a perfectly reasonable question. I am indeed his older sibling, dear, and thank you very much for the compliment. So, Brother, to what do I owe this call? I have to admit some surprise in finding you online and on video chat.”

The man looked slightly embarrassed.

“Ah, well, er… I can’t really take credit for that, that was the Detective’s doing.”

“I see. Well then, I say congratulations, Beth. You have finally managed to bring my brother into the twenty-first century. He’s a bit… stubborn, that way.”

“I noticed…”

“And so, I take it, brother that you’re not simply reestablishing old ties…”

“I need you to look at something, Kimi. It’s a piece of evidence in Beth’s case.”

The woman seemed a little surprised. “Well of course, if there’s any way I can help…”

The Professor picked up the odd stone and held it up in front of the camera. Almost at once, Kimi’s mouth opened slightly and her face became a mask of worry.

“Oh my word…” she whispered. “Turn it around, please Alvin.” He did so. Finally, she indicated that she had seen enough. “By the goddess, Alvin, what have you gotten yourself into?”

“Then you know what it is then?”

She sighed. “Yes, I know what it is.”

Beth leaned forward. “Please, Ma’am… any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.”

She looked terror-stricken. “You want my advice, Detective… Run. Forget the case and get yourself as far as possible from that stone!”

“She can’t do that, Kimi. She’s… involved.”

“Involved? How?”

He briefly glanced at Beth before answering. “Uh, about a week ago a Watcher tried to possess her. I was able to intervene, but only just.”

The redhead brought a hand up in front of her mouth, and it looked for a moment as though she might suddenly burst into tears. “Oh, child, I am so very sorry.”

Beth had no idea what to say, so she just nodded.

“Kimi, I know it’s a sacred relic,” stated the Professor, “but not which one or its purpose. There were wrappings…”

“It was warded?” She asked, surprised. “By who?”

Beth jumped in. “According to a journal we have from the last person to possess the stone, a group known as the ‘Mothers’.”

The woman looked away for a moment, as though thinking. “That would make sense. It also confirms the origin and purpose of the relic. Alvin, are you currently… safe?”

“For the moment. We’re in my loft.”

She nodded. “Whatever security you’ve put in place, double it. It’s a certainty that the Watchers are going to eventually try and breach your defenses. That’s no simple artifact… That’s the Gatekeeper stone.”

The Professor sighed. “I thought it might be. I was hoping you might tell me otherwise.”

“Whoa, whoa,” commented Beth. “Could one of you please fill me in here. What’s the Gatekeeper stone?”

“I can assume you explained the Watchers to her?”

“Yes. She knows up to the Nephilim.” Replied the man, holding her eye.

She nodded. “Very well. Detective, when it was discovered that some of the Watchers had managed to escape confinement, the higher powers decided that something needed to be done about it. Unfortunately, because humans were now involved, they simply couldn’t round the demons up and lock them away. Instead, it was agreed that humanity would have to take an active role in their punishment.

“A special relic was created, and given the power to force the remaining Watchers into imprisonment, but the relic could only be activated by someone known as the ‘Lock’.”

“The journal mentioned that the Mothers were searching for the Lock, and that they might be close, but that it had not been found yet. So… the Lock is a person?”

“Yes. Every seventy years another Lock is chosen from very specific blood lines. The relic itself is used to help find that person. Obviously, the demons want to prevent this, for if the Gatekeeper stone is activated, the remaining free Watchers will be cast into imprisonment for seventy years. For an eternal being, that sentence might seem trivial, but for a demon it’s about as close to a literal hell as you can get. They will have absolutely nothing to do but reflect on the past.”

Beth was frowning again. “You said the Watchers want to prevent the Lock and the stone from coming together. How?”

“The demons must find and kill the Lock. Not an easy thing for them to do since they can’t handle the stone themselves.”

That got Beth thinking. “And how do the Mothers fit in?”

Kimi nodded. “The Mothers are a group of clandestine nuns who have dedicated themselves to guarding the relic and finding the Lock. They have been performing this ritual for centuries, and much longer than that in other forms before the formation of the Catholic church. The Watchers hunt for the Lock as well, using their own somewhat inferior methods, so it’s a race. Fortunately, the Mothers have always been successful in this endeavor.”


“The Mothers found the Lock first.”

“Oh… Damn, then it looks like they might very well be in for a disappointment this time around.”

The red-haired woman tilted her head, frowning. “Why do you say that, Detective?”

“Because it would seem that the Watchers have been killing off the Mothers en masse.”

The other paled. “Oh gods… Are… are you certain?”

“Thirteen in the last six months, according to the crime database, though I have no way to be positive that they were all as a result of a demonic attack, or that they are members of the group in question.”

The woman on the screen took a deep breath. “Thirteen…” she repeated. “Then this has become much more serious, Alvin. The Watchers are taking an active role in ensuring their freedom, eliminating those who they view as a threat before the relic can even be used to find the Lock.”

“Apparently they mailed the… what did you call it… Gatekeeper stone, to one of their apprentices in a last-ditch effort. Her death was what brought me into the case.”

“That doesn’t make sense. The demons often watch the Mothers to help find the Lock, because they can’t do it easily themselves. If they kill them all off, it will make their task that much harder. The Mothers also protect the relic. Sending it through the public postal service where it could be intercepted or lost… That would be a terrible act of desperation for them.”

“But with the Mothers dead, doesn’t that mean the Watchers insure their own safety for another seventy years? I mean, if this relic and the Lock never get together, what happens?”

“After seventy years another Lock will be chosen and the process begins again…”

“But the demons are free and safe for that time?”

“I’m not sure that ‘safe’ is quite correct, but possibly. Beth, you need to understand, that relic harbors incredible powers. It’s virtually indestructible by human standards. Regardless of the Mothers’ intervention, it and the Lock will be naturally drawn together, the Mothers only helped speed up that process by using the relic to guide them. They want the Watchers to have as little time on the Earth as possible.”

“Drawn together? How?”

She shook her head. “What would seem like a series of perfectly random events, actually. But I assure you, there is always great power at work attempting to bring the two together. Even still, it may not happen, especially if humans prevent it somehow, but… Alvin, the wrappings. How were they marked?”

“Isoglyphs.” He replied simply, then held one of the pages up to the camera. His sister leaned in closer to the screen.

“Hold it a bit further back… that’s it. Hold it still.” The screen froze for a moment. “I have captured an image. Can you do the same for the others? I assume you have not yet translated the text?”

The Professor held up the next page. “No… Unfortunately, my Aramaic is a bit rusty. I was hoping to have Georges take a crack at it, but I assume he is still tromping around the Amazon.”

“Now now, Alvin. You have your hobbies, and Georges has his. But you’re correct. Luckily for you, I can be his stand-in. I can’t read it outright, but I should be able to have a translation for you within a few hours.”

“Sounds good.” He replied. “We’ll stay put in the mean time. I guess I should let you get on it then…”

“Oh no you don’t!” She interrupted. “You made this call, brother, and I intend to do a bit of catching up! The translation can wait another twenty minutes.”

The man’s shoulders slumped, and Beth smiled.

“Alvin,” she said gently. “I’ll just go upstairs and make some breakfast for us, so you can have some privacy.”


“It was very nice to meet you, Kimi.”

“And you, Detective.”

She nodded and then headed out through the Abdicates. Once alone, Manatee returned to the screen and the grinning face of his sister.


“Well what?”

“You know damn well what! You like her.”

His mouth fell open.

“Now see here…”

“Oh, pipe down, Alvin. I know you. I also know how long you have been alone…”

“We’re just friends, Kimi.”

“Uh huh. If you say so. But I can tell from here that she’s interested in more than just a friendship, little brother. She likes you too. A lot.”

“I… I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of relationship.”

“Alvin, you’re never going to be ready. But you have to jump back in the game sooner or later. Ellen… wouldn’t have wanted you to just give up.”

He stared at his sister through the computer connection. “We could never have…” He trailed off.

“Children? Perhaps. But there’s a lot more to life than just propagating.”

He said nothing.

“Dear brother,” she said sadly. “Don’t let this one get away. I can tell how good she is for you. There’s a spark in your eye again.”

“Maybe when this whole thing with the Gatekeeper relic is over…”

“She needs you now. You need her too, Alvin. This business with the stone… It’s going to get a lot worse. They undoubtedly know you have it.”

“I know…”

“Your loft is only going to protect you for so long. I don’t have many connections in the States, but I’ll see if there’s someone I can send to help.”

“Kimi, I’m not sure getting others involved is such a good idea.”

She leaned a little closer to the screen and spoke in a hushed voice.

“In this case, we’re all involved. I didn’t want to mention this in front of Beth, but that relic isn’t simply a switch to corral the ten. The Lock controls the gate…. completely.”

“I don’t…”

“Though it has obviously never happened before, there is always the risk that the Watchers would choose not to kill off the Lock if they found them. It’s almost unthinkable, but there could be a way to corrupt the Lock, and use them to…”

“You’re talking about the complete release of… of the two hundred.” He was stunned.

“That’s right. And know this, little brother. The higher powers may not just sit tight and let the world be corrupted again. They may not tolerate it this time.”

“They would intervene?”

“No. They could simply start over.” She fixed his eyes.

The Professor frowned. “What are you talking about? Another flood?”

“They won’t use that path again, it wasn’t thorough enough. This time they would do it right… with fire. If the Watchers are released, Alvin, they may very well fry this little world of ours into a lifeless cinder. It won’t harm the demons, so they have nothing to lose, and frankly everything to gain. Without humans, they would be free of their bondage.”

He didn’t know what to say.

“I’ll get this translation to you as soon as possible. Hopefully it will tell us how to use the stone to find the Lock. Whatever else happens, you and Beth MUST find them first. I don’t know how they would do it… maybe turn them against you, convince them that you are somehow the enemy. I don’t know, but they’re hunting for the Lock for a reason, and as soon as they find them, your lives will be meaningless.”

He spent several moments just staring at his sister before he spoke again.

“I’ve missed you, Kimi. Sorry, I haven’t stayed in contact.”

She smiled warmly. “When this is over, you can come visit me. Bring Beth along. She looked like she could use a vacation too.”

“That’s an understatement. I’ll wait for your call. Love you, sis.”

“I love you too, Alvin.”

He terminated the connection.