Punched by an Angel
by Henry Wyckoff

A crossover between Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Millennium, and Touched by an Angel



Chapter 9

The Ancient laughed, "I can appreciate a compliment as well as the next man, but I can assure you that I am no Angel!"

Peter nodded, "Maybe or maybe not, but the point is that Latro might believe that you are an Angel. Or we think that he might. We're hoping that since you're high-profile he's going to come after you."

"If you wish to protect me, I most certainly do not mind the company! So you are going to split up and gamble, hoping that one of you will find him?"

"I don't know what else we can do," he confessed. "Kermit crossed his path twice. First time, he knocked Kermit out cold, and the second time, he got up after being shot by two assault rifles, then blew off their heads at long-distance with lead ball bullets."

The Ancient poured the Oolong tea. "This man. How has Kermit described him?"

Without even meaning to, Peter found himself going over the case again. The murders in the States and in Canada, Kermit's encounters, the man's obsession with killing Angels, and his sinister description.

The Ancient didn't sound skeptical at any point. He listened, and rarely asked a question of clarification, most usually because of an ambiguity due to the use of vernacular.

"Peter, do you know what 'Latro' means?"

"No. I don't even know what language it is."

"It is Latin. The Latrones were the highwaymen who robbed those going from one city to the next. Bandits, you might call them. They take what they want and kill you if you fail to give it to them. Do you know what he is trying to take?"

Peter thought about the dialogue reported by the surviving witnesses, "He's trying to find some spiritual truth, but what it is, I don't know. I think he's too far gone."

The Ancient looked more serious than he usually did, "Peter. By what you say, Latro is not insane, but rather too sane. He knows what he wants, and he will do anything to get it. Do not mistake ruthlessness with insanity."

* * *

Frank stared at the Cathedral. "Now tell me again why you believe that Latro will strike here once more?"

Kermit wasn't even sure he knew. "He was going after a guy named Andrew when I crossed his path. He'll want to succeed where he failed."

"You know him?"

"We met earlier today."

Frank had the distinct feeling that Kermit was hiding something. "Why would he want to kill Andrew?"

Kermit didn't know Andrew as well as he thought he should, but he knew that what he was about to say was correct. "Andrew goes out of his way to bring comfort to the dying."

Frank thought about that. "You go inside and find him. I'm going to look around."

Kermit nodded. "You know where to find me."

* * *

The outside, Frank noted, was very Baroque. Very rare on this side of the ocean. It was something he'd expect to see in France or Germany, but not here in Canada.

"Hello," the voice was Irish.

Frank turned around, "Hello. Do you work here?"

Her smile spoke volumes, "In a certain way. You don't sound Canadian. Are you a tourist?"

"A working tourist."

"But you have some acquaintance with architecture. You are wondering how something so intricate could have been made on this side of the water."

He nodded. "You must get that question a lot."

"I never got that question. Not too many people notice. Are you an architect?"

"No. I just appreciate it." He didn't tell her how much his appreciation was destroyed by his research, and the gruesome shadow of death and murder that cast a red image over all the beauty of this cathedral. It brought back too many images of hell and living death. All the paintings from the Medieval era. "It gives me a unique insight into human nature."

"Really." She seemed genuinely curious.

He looked at her

doveribbonwindowleavesvalleysun

and shook his head as a dog would shake off water.

"Are you all right?" She laid a hand on his shoulder.

plainbrightgrassgateshiningeyes

"Yes," he nodded. Then his guts twisted.

explodinghandsfireeyesravenspearwolfkrunrip

Before he could even speak, his reflexes acted. He tackled her to the ground as the wall exploded. Frank saw a man with eyes of darkness, surrounded by sulfurous smoke. He held the lead ball rifle that Kermit had described, and by the look of it, it wasn't your old-fashioned musket. This one was designed to rapid-fire as easily as a semi-automatic.

"Monica," The man wasn't smiling. "I thought I'd rid the world of you. In my dreams, I could see your conversation with Andrew. Either you and he are naive, or you're worse than the rich. You are disconnected, but I can cure that."

Frank stood up, his gun drawn. "Put it down, Latro." It could only have been Latro. "I don't know how you got away the last time, but I can put you down for good."

Tilting his head, Latro pointed his rifle to the ground. "You would do that for me?"

"You're disturbed. Let me help you."

Latro raised his rifle again, "I'm saner than you. If you want to help me, kill me." His eyes darkened. "Or I'll kill her."

* * *

Kermit walked into the cathedral. He wasn't surprised to see Andrew there. "You know, I'm surprised. A mortal, defending an Angel. I thought you were supposed to be immortal. Impervious to mortal ills."

Andrew sat at the steps of the altar. "So did I, but I find that in the face of Latro, we are more mortal than you are. Demon and Angel alike are falling to his axe. He told Valerius that Odin shows him the way, but in all my years, I have seen no evidence of Odin other than superstitious belief in him."

"Maybe like God, Odin didn't want to show himself."

"Oh?"

"Yes. Latro had a good point, you know. The preachers say that all you have to do is close your eyes, and you can hear God. Well, I don't hear God, but I hear Latro. Is there such a thing as God? If he's all powerful, how come I -- a mere mortal -- am protecting you?"

Andrew raised his eyes to Kermit, "You think you've experienced everything there is to experience, but I'll tell you the truth; you've experienced nothing. I have seen God and Heaven, and I have no doubts. I have faith that by trusting in God, his greater plan will be revealed."

"Even if it means the misery of billions?"

"If you think you're having a bad day, imagine what it was like for Jesus on the cross."

Kermit laughed, "You're really naive! I haven't even seen fifty years yet, and I've seen more death and suffering than you can possibly imagine!"

Andrew's eyes were haunting. "I took every soul you killed."

"Maybe, but what about the suffering children? Jesus died; the millions haven't. Death would be a boon compared to what they experience even now. If I remember my Bible class right, Jesus was even taken out of the game a bit early. How's that for preferential treatment?"

Andrew showed the first signs of frustration, "What do you want?"

Kermit looked shocked, "You mean you're actually asking me? It's not a rhetorical question?" He looked at the ground. "You should have asked Latro what he wanted. I mean, really listened to him. I'm not an Angel or a deity, but I know what he wants."

"What is that?"

"The love of a Father. The voice of a Father. You Angels can hear the Word, but not Latro."


* * * *


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