Archangel Evolution - David Estes Page 0,1

He fondly remembered the day he had added decades to his life expectancy:

He had just finished a day of futile and frantic experimenting. The eight expended human corpses were heaped in a pile. There was no messy cleanup—not one drop of blood had been shed. All he had left to do was burn the bodies.

The last subject was chained to the wall, cowering, like a child afraid of the boogeyman. Dionysus would have almost pitied him if he hadn’t hated him so much. The twenty-five-year-old was not bad looking, handsome even by human standards, but he was still a human, and therefore, pathetic, weak.

Despite his frustrations, Dionysus had managed to meditate for a few minutes, blocking out the sobbing whimpering of the last test rat. Concentrating hard, he remembered each failed experiment and tried to pinpoint what had gone wrong.

In each case, Dionysus had attempted to harness the aura, or the inner light, of each human subject and convert the aura into energy to power his own abilities. They were the humans with the largest auras he could find, and yet they broke under his influence; shattered beyond repair, their internal organs had imploded upon themselves, causing instant death. Locking on to their auras, his powers had increased by twenty to thirty percent, a small gain that was a far cry from what he had hoped for.

During each failed experiment there was a point where something…strange had happened. At the point where he could feel his own powers beginning to magnify, he could also sense that the human was dying. He felt a pull from within him. Not a physical pull, but a pull that could only be described as spiritual. It was as if his soul, if he even had one, was trying to escape his body. He could sense this pull, feel it, and it scared him. So he simply sucked even more of the humans’ auras from them, killing them, and releasing the strange pull.

As he dwelled on the phenomenon, he wondered if the pull was really dangerous. Perhaps it was just a part of the process required to harness the human aura. Or perhaps it would kill him. Either way, it was a risk he might have to take. All great scientists were forced to take risks to further their knowledge. Maybe this was his great risk. His kite in the lightning storm, so to speak.

Dionysus had boldly delved into the final subject, the one with the largest aura, and began harvesting the power within him. The man had screamed—oh how he had screamed; his shrill cry was deliciously full of fear and pain and weakness. At the point of no return, the point where he felt the pull on his very being—his soul?—he had allowed the process to continue, had allowed the subject to live, albeit in great pain.

It was then that he had an out of body experience.

He could see his body, glowing, glowing, and then going dark like an extinguished candle. While his spirit, or something like it, hovered in the air, his body crumpled to the floor; what was full of life became suddenly lifeless.

He turned his attention to the subject, who was still screaming, screaming, and whose aura was glowing from within him. And then they were one. Him and the subject. He was the subject. The subject was not himself—not anymore. The subject was dead, but not. The subject’s soul had died or been replaced or been hidden, or something else entirely. Whatever the case, the subject was no longer present in the body, but the body remained alive, governed by Dionysus. He controlled the limbs, the bones, the speech. He had inhabited the body.

At first he was fearful that he had inadvertently become human again. That by some trick of the gods, he had devolved back into the pitiful existence of his predecessors. His fear was short-lived, however, as he had quickly realized that all of his powers, knowledge, and strength were still intact, they were merely housed in a new body. A younger body. One with more years separating it from a death caused by old age.

That’s when he knew he had discovered the figurative fountain of youth. He could live forever. In fact, all angels could.

Dionysus smiled at the fond memory of his discovery. It had changed everything. He had switched bodies once more to retest his theory, carefully selecting a stunningly handsome Italian man for the job. The same man he now looked at every day