Chapter 1

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As the minutes passed so did his sorrow. He tried to put things into perspective. That other life was over. Lynn's gone, Danny's gone. Everything from before was gone. His life was here now. He had a mission. He had been chosen to save a world. This world. But how? What was he supposed to do? He had no idea of where he was or where to go. Doubt began to creep back into his mind. This could not, was not happening. This was not reality. At least not his reality.

But the experiences after his death were still with him, though he tried desperately to dismiss them. He still could feel the loving embrace of the HIERARCHY… and the terror inflicted by those others. Something passed through him then, causing him to shiver inwardly—and not from the cold. A familiar shadow descended upon him and Uriel became very afraid. A single thought filled his mind: they know I'm here. Uriel began to run away.

The deep, guttural voice, speaking a primal tongue entered his mind. "Fool, you question this reality when you yourself have chosen it. You have erred greatly by your decision. You will be the cause of extreme suffering, pain and death. Know that your failure will cause the destruction of this entire world. You will know despair, Uriel. For you are ours."

There was a blinding flash of light followed by an explosion. Uriel was thrown back in the direction he had run from. From a sprawled position on the ground, Uriel looked up at the sky. The source of the light came from twin suns, the two spheres he had seen before. The rays from the suns had pierced the clouds, joining to form a solitary stream of light. Uriel's eyes followed the stream of light to a short distance behind him. The stream of light shone on a gnarled staff, the top of which sparkled.

As he gazed upon the staff, he realized that the shadow and fear were no longer upon him and that the snow had stopped. Drawn to the staff, Uriel crawled over to where it laid. The staff was made of wood, was a medium walnut in color, and about five-and-a-half feet in length. The top of the staff held an emblem fashioned of liquid crystal that was in a state of constant flux. There were runes carved into the staff which read "The Staff Of Peter." He was both surprised at his ability to decipher the runes as well as what they signified. He knew the staff belonged to him, was somehow a part of him, but was still hesitant to touch it. Slowly he stretched out his hand and gingerly touched the staff. Nothing happened. Uriel then took the staff in both hands and felt pure power charge through his body. A subtle change came over him. He became calm, assured. He regained his sense of purpose and, at least for the moment, accepted his destiny.

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