Chapter XXIII

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"Alright Mikey, I'll teach them how to control their rage and up their game, but just like I told Azazel, I'm not picking sides."

"Understood, Gadreel. Thank you," Michael said, nodding his head in acknowledgement.

Gadreel turned and scanned the room, assessing each of the Original Souls and then noticed Danny stand, walk around, sit, and then hop to his feet and pace some more. "Bro, come here!" he shouted to the trucker.

"What?"

"You are first. I got to get you off that escalator," Gadreel said with a smile. "All you other dudes and dudettes, have a seat.

"Not until Azazel does," Danny shot back, continuing to walk around the group like a lion in a cage.

"You're being silly, Danny," Angel said, assuming the lotus position along with Dustyn.

Carter watched the pair sit down and then shrugged his shoulders. He rolled his eyes and copied their pose.

"Freaking sit your ass down, warlord!" Gadreel shouted in an atypical show of aggression.

The outburst cut through Danny's emotional fire and shook him into compliance. "Fine!" he said and found an empty spot on the warehouse's concrete floor next to Carter. He looked over at the sharpshooter, eyes wide. "Sup?"

Carter stared back with a 'what the hell's wrong with you' look.

"Danny! Look at me, dude. Right here, cool. Now, listen to me. Focus only on my words," Gadreel said, his voice growing calmer and softer with each syllable. "Good, take a deep breath and exhale. Stop, not so fast, this ain't a race. Deep breath and slow-ly exhale. Awesome, now, do it again..."

Dustyn, Angel, and Carter couldn't help but follow along with Gadreel's instructions for Danny and slowly began feeling calmer and less angry themselves.

Gadreel joined with the others and sat on the floor. He smiled. "You guys need to realize there are two types of anger. There is righteous anger, the kind you feel when you are battling for something you know is right and then there is that bitter, residual anger that is oftentimes confusing and overwhelming. It makes you anxious and clouds your mind, leaving you unable to regain your mental clarity. This is where you were tonight, Danny."

"I see," the truck driver said. "That makes a lot of sense."

Azazel slowly approached the group from the darkness and chose to sit a few feet away.

Gadreel said nothing to him, choosing instead to keep his focus on the Original Souls. "So, what I am about to show you are techniques that will keep the demon side of yourself in control. This knowledge will allow you to tap this energy and focus it like a beam..."

"Like Cyclops from X-Men?" Dustyn asked only to find himself struck in the arm by Angel.

"Shut it, nerd!" Carter said.

"Sorry."

Gadreel closed his eyes and sighed. "Okay, so there is an energy center, right where Azazel marked you. That point in your body where your soul is attached to your skin suit and it's called the Manipura Chakra, right there in the solar plexus. This is why you feel such anger and anxiety. It is a fire burning in you and needs to be tended to or it will burn out of control and consume you leaving only ash."

"Okay, that's not scary much," Carter said.

"And scared you should be," Gadreel replied. "If left unattended, you would lose yourself to this internal firestorm."

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