Punched by an Angel
by Henry Wyckoff

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



Chapter 12

Peter watched Frank carefully while he weakly sipped some coffee. "You know, I read your record while you were out cold."

Frank looked a little surprised, but all he said was, "Yes?"

"It says that while you were working for the FBI, you lost your marbles there. Started seeing visions. The Seattle PD says that when you came back recently to help them out, you nearly freaked them out. You came up with all these crazy theories that somehow worked out." Peter looked carefully into Frank's face. "They claim that you can see into the killer's mind. Is that some FBI profiler experiment? It causes insanity early in life?"

Frank sighed and stared into space for a moment, "When I went crazy, it was because a man was stalking my wife, and I did my best to protect them until we could be in a better position. As for the rest, it's just a gift I have. I can see into the criminal's mind, just like a good tracker can follow a deer or some lost sheep."

"So they just misunderstood it as a mental exercise?"

"If you like . . . " Frank didn't seem anxious to defend himself one way or another.

"Look, Frank, I appreciate your help, but I can't use your help if you're losing your marbles on me. Your last seizure got caught on camera. Defense isn't going to let us off easy on that one."

"I know," Frank looked genuinely regretful.

"What happened?"

He looked down, "Nothing. It's not important."

"You went into a screaming fit. I'd say that's pretty important. Monica's swearing she's an Angel now, and says she looked into his eyes. Claims he's a fallen Angel and just doesn't know it. Before you passed out again, you told me to listen to her." Peter's face sunk in his hands, "Just what the hell am I supposed to do? I've got the guy on murder and have the evidence for it. I don't care one bit about the guy's religious problems!"

"You're right," Frank nodded. "You have him with the evidence. Nothing more needs to be done other than the routine paperwork and court hearings."

"It's nice to see that you're regaining your sanity." It did seem like things were becoming normal and rational again, but why did Peter have that strange feeling that his mind was being tied into a pretzel?

"Peter?"

"Yeah?"

"Tell me this. How are you going to make your case when it's revealed that not one of the victims has an official identity?"

"You had to remind me about that detail . . . "

* * *

Andrew watched the TV from his bed. There wasn't much else to do, since his body was behaving in a manner that would be normal for a mortal. For one, he wasn't use to the pain.

He was watching Sally McCuen, the star of the afternoon news team, and shestood outside the precinct building, chattering away like an excited chipmunk. "The so-called 'Killer of the Angels' was arrested earlier today, injuring an innocent bystander in the process, with the aid of ex-FBI profiler Frank Black, from the United States. The man is identified only as Latro, and seems to have no official identity in either Canada or the United States. Searches are still being made to establish his true identity. The police are releasing no other information, but we do have eyewitness accounts of the episode earlier today. First, let's view the footage caught by a Dutch tourist just as the episode started."

Andrew saw the standoff at the cathedral once more, from a different perspective. What had seemed like an infinite moment of deliberation was only the space of a heartbeat. If he had hesitated a moment longer, perhaps Monica would have died.

"So, Detective Caine, is there anything you'd like to share with us?"

"No comment."
Peter certainly looked strained.

"Do you believe that you have the right man?" another pressed.

"All I can tell you is that we have a 'suspect' in custody, under questioning."

"But you've filed formal charges against him!"
McCuen protested. "Surely that would mean that you believe he has some measure of guilt."

"As I've said, no comment. That will be all."

Andrew bet that Peter had no comment, not when the man didn't know what to believe anymore, even more so because of his own unique background.

"Hello." a French voice. Very gravelly too. Andrew turned his head and saw the hospital priest, making his rounds. "You're new here. I don't remember seeing you."

"But I've seen you before," he smiled. "Hello, Jean-Pierre."

The old man raised his eyebrow, "You must have met me a long time ago. Nobody calls me that anymore!" His eyes narrowed, "I'd have to say you look familiar, but I don't think I've met you." He hobbled in. "So I hear you helped to catch the Killer of the Angels."

He nodded, "I was involved, but I didn't do much to catch him."

"Why do you sound so sad?"

A pause. "Just a crisis of faith."

Jean-Pierre sat down on a chair, wheezing a little bit. "So tell Jean-Pierre all about it. I'm a Catholic, so you can bet God and his host of Angels will hear all about it come tomorrow!" He chuckled a little bit.

"I just don't know if I've done the right thing. The newspapers, the TV, and the cops all say that I've done the right thing, no matter which way you look at it. Yes, I saved a life, but was it right?"

The old man stared at Andrew, "You saved a life by putting yourself in the way of the bullet, yes?"

"Yes."

"That gave the police a chance to arrest a killer, yes?"

"Yes."

"So what's wrong with that?" The old man sounded shocked.

"What if God had meant for Monica to take the bullet?"

Jean-Pierre sighed, "God's plan is great and mysterious, I'll grant you. Nobody, perhaps not even the Angels, know what it is. But I can tell you this much; even if an Angel makes a mistake, God is powerful enough to use a backup plan. He can adapt and overcome, just as any one of us can do. So let's say that he meant for Monica to take the bullet. She didn't. Are you learning a lesson from this? Is she? If something positive is coming out of it, God can use it. If something negative is coming out, everyone still learns a lesson and God changes things if he needs to."

Andrew nodded. "I tell myself that too, but I don't believe it."

"Ahh . . . you need proof that you've done the right thing." He wagged his finger. "That never comes till the end of the story, and you never reach the end. You just have to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and keep on trudging along!" He coughed a little, "If you're truly concerned about how God sees this whole affair, why don't you just ask him?"

"God doesn't talk to me these days."

"You just don't know how to listen!"

Andrew had a haunting feeling of deja vu, except that he remembered saying those very things himself. It wasn't just a feeling. He had the sinking suspicion that not only was he becoming vulnerable as a mortal, but he was also seeing the world in the way of a mortal. The next time Monica acted naive to him and asked once more why the mortals couldn't hear God, he'd have a few words for her.

For the first time in recorded history, an Angel felt genuine compassion for a mortal, and he didn't like it one bit. It meant that he was sharing a common, unpleasant experience.

But what would he pray for, now that the time had come? Would he pray to fully become an Angel once more, to spare himself the suffering that mortals suffered? Would that be fair? Why should he be given preferential treatment when there were many others who didn't have a choice?

Jean-Pierre laid a hand on his shoulder, "You've got it well enough. Just talk to God in your own heart. No need to talk aloud like a Pharisee. I pray for you too."

When Andrew actually did pray, he didn't even realize it. It seemed as if his whole life before him was the life of an immature child. "God. What has happened to me? I don't know who I am or what I have become. I need the security I once had, but I need even more to know that I am doing the right thing, that I am following your plan."

What he didn't see was that outside, Jean-Pierre faded into the air, leaving a faint golden glow in his wake.


* * * *


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